Issue August 2011
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Cool, Calm & Connected E-news

Email The Goddess
Of Public Speaking
For Help With Your

Geraldine Barkworth


What's New


"So much more than public speaking... it's about honest & real communication."  & dancing!

View Retreat Program
October 27 - 30, 2011
Byron Bay hinterland
2pm Thurs - 2pm Sun

8 women only. Book by Sept 1, 2011. Contact Teresa Bassham now to secure your spot.

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" Say nothing until you see a sea of agreements.

Use group dynamics to enforce the parameters, rather than you. "


Dear Goddess Of Public Speaking...

I often co-ordinate and act as an MC for Women's Events and I have trouble with people talking too long and ignoring my cues to finish. How can I manage people better so that everyone gets a chance to speak but not at the expense of others? "  N.J., WOMENS RESOURCE MANAGER

Dear N.J.,
Time to bring out your inner control freak. Forget all that mush about egalitarian sharing. The fact is, as MC you must take control of the Event or anarchy will prevail. And no one will be heard at all.
So take control to protect everyone's right to be heard. This includes Guest Speakers and Audience Questions. I'll give you tips on both:

Guest Speakers
Make personal contact with Guest Speakers beforehand and advise your requirements for the event. This defines a clear boundary of expectation on either side. Be sure to include: length of allocated speaking time, clarify purpose of speaking topic and intended outcome, whether it's interactive, time or not for questions, expected start and finish time for speaking. Provide the program to Speakers so they can see their own place within it and understand how to fit the context. After all it's your event, not theirs.

When the Guest Speakers arrive, connect with them personally - as the MC your job is to help them feel at ease. While chatting, reinforce the length the of time they have to speak. Ensure they understand the program is packed and keeping to time is very important - check their understanding by looking into their eyes. Discuss the signals you will send to let them know when they are Close To Time (I use a long arm movement), or it's time to Wrap Up (I use the whirling wrap up signal), or if they MUST GET OFF NOW, (sound a gong, walk  toward them or cut the sound - just joking). This reinforces there are consequences to poor time management and that you willing to take immediate action to keep the show on the road for everyone's benefit.

When the Guest Speaker is presenting, make sure you follow the agreed signals. Sometimes Guest Speakers get on a roll and can't stop, or become addicted to the adrenaline rush of all that attention, so as the MC, it's is your job to shepherd them graciously off the stage so that others will have their turn.

Thank and acknowledge the Guest Speaker privately. This also sets up a good management relationship for next time.

Audience Questions
When the "floor is opened to questions", things can get very exciting if you are dealing with contentious issues. Your diplomatic lion tamer skills are needed (think of the wonderful skill displayed by  Jenny Brochie from SBS Insight Program.) Of course if the subject fails to raise a ripple of interest, you may want to have some staged questions or prepare some of your own. A good way to start is: "Something I've always wanted to know more about is..."onomatopoeia"... "female snail collecting"... "the origin of the colour purple..."

Begin by scheduling enough questions or discussion time and clearly display it in the program.

Next when you address the Audience, repeat this information, speak slowly, watching your words sink in as you articulate the parameters. For instance, "We have 10 minutes for questions so that's probably about 3 questions...", or "Each person has  5 minutes to share their view. Any longer and  I'll have to gong you off (sound the gong to show consequences) to ensure everyone gets a chance" (stating context and appealing to universal fairness.)

After you've described  the parameters and if you anticipate heated discussion, ask for everyone's agreement up front and wait. Say nothing until you see a sea of agreements. This method uses group dynamics to enforce the parameters, rather than you.

And of course, you must stick to the parameters. No matter how scintellating the Question from the Audience, the same rules must be applied. If they are stirring strong interest within the group, suggest they meet later after the program is finished. This keeps the event on track, provides options to continue the discussion and means audience members build trust in your ability to handle the situation. It may also give individuals the confidence to speak out, knowing they too will get a fair go.

When you clearly and graciously take control as the MC and Event Coordinator by setting the parameters in advance and reinforcing consistently throughout the event, the Guest Speakers and Audience will relax  and everyone will feel as though they have had their chance to be heard.

As a speaker, would like to make sure you are heard? And as a facilitator of others, would you like to ensure their chance to be heard also? You can learn how at my upcoming 4 Day Transformational Speaking Retreat For Women, October 27-30, 2011. It will be held in the Byron Bay hinterland, NSW, a gorgeous working-holiday, surrounded by countryside, art and antiques. And there will be dancing as well as lots of public speaking opportunities to play and practise in a safe, supportive environment.

I really appreciated the aspect of spiritual connection & feminine power that was underlying the content of the course. I won’t forget that & am certain that it is totally unique. Geraldine’s modelling, energy, intelligence, experience & raw presence is an inspiration & purely enjoyable.” Angela Hinz, Breathing Space Yoga, QLD

Registrations close Sept 1, 2011. 8 places only. Geraldine is going overseas for 2 weeks, so please contact
Teresa Bassham with enquiries or to secure your spot. Review the Retreat Program.


Rate between 1 and 10 how cool, calm and connected you feel:

When you speak and lead with natural ease and authenticity, you will be closer to 10. When you feel scattered, distracted or unconfident, you will be closer to 1.


What To Do: If you are above a 7 today, notice what's working well and keep doing it. Accept that daily variations in confidence and clarity are normal and natural.

If you are below a 7 today, practise the 6 minute Inner Calm exercise.


The formation of a word from a sound it is associated with,  like "cuckoo", "sizzle" or "der".

"On the matter here?"
"No, no, I said "onomatopoeia".
"On a pier?"
"No, "onomatopoeia."
"Oh. Der... Why didn't you say so! On a mat on a pier. That's clear now.

Email the Goddess your favourite word, define it & put into a sentence.

© 2011, Geraldine Barkworth. Reprintable when full credit is given & whole newsletter is reproduced. Contact Geraldine Barkworth on +61 (2) 6685 1917 or

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