How to become effective at Public Speaking

Public speaking has become a major requirement practically in every career you can think of. Many people rate speaking in public as their greatest fear. Watching pastors, politicians and motivational speakers going about their business may make you think that only those born with the gift of public speaking can be so eloquent and confident. However, all great public speakers gifted or not, had to train to be so effective. The learning does not stop but it is a lifelong exercise at learning new methods and building on your delivery to be more effective. To start you off, here are the essential principles of public speaking that will help you be confident and effective whenever speaking to a group.

  1. Stop Trying to be a Great Speaker While on Stage

When you get an opportunity to give a speech or presentation, stop trying to come of great as it will put too much pressure on you which will show. Focus on speaking and not on the audience in front of you and proceed as you would in a conversation. Talk directly to the audience and when you are relaxed and at a comfortable pace you will give a great speech.

  1. Do Not Focus on the Mistakes You Make in a Speech

Most of the time you will not be reading word for word so you will be the only one who notices the mistakes more than anyone else. Unless the mistake was grave changing the content of your speech or offensive, do not stop to apologize. Carry on as you would in a natural conversation. The audience are not there to listen to a perfect person but a real human being with interesting content. Fretting over a slip can harm your chances of great delivery.

  1. Have Regular Practice

There is no perfect public speaker. However, with practice you can be an effective public speaker. The idea is to have the message understood by the audience without tiring them but rather having them enjoy the whole delivery session. You will need to practice alone and with people in different circumstances in order to perfect the handling of different audiences and building your confidence.

  1. Make it Personal and Descriptive

Audiences react better to communication that is personalized and drawn or related to personal experiences. Whenever you can put a face to your presentation, use it. Tell stories and even more effective give it a personal touch. There is much to draw from other people’s stories of triumph and tragedy as well as humorous little anecdotes which can liven up your speech.

  1. Always Leave the Audience Anticipating for More

You want your audience to be hanging on to your every word but you can easily lose them with a long winding speech. With public speaking less is more and you do not have to use all the time allocated to you. Get your content into the major points. Talk about them clearly and briefly and even allow yourself to restate some statements. Pace yourself well so that when you are done the audience still anticipates more.

For more information about Dr. Nach’s Online Resources and how to enroll, visit our website at:

Dr. Eric Nach, Ph.D., M.Ed., A.S.D. Cert. Developmental and Behavioral Specialist and Associates

Summer Services 2019-updated_4-23-19

Empowering Struggling Learners with The Soft Skills Needed to Be Able To Maintain A Job

Everyone needs soft skills if they are to maintain a job.  People with learning challenges do not acquire skills as easily as other people, but, can be great employees. With the right training, patience, and practice they can master the soft skills needed in any workplace.

Why is it important to empower struggling learners with soft skills to maintain a job?

There is no specified method or set syllabus of learning soft skills. We acquire them naturally through interacting with others. The assumption that kids and young adults naturally learn soft skills is the reason such lessons are not included in the education curriculum.

Unfortunately, due to the different physical and cognitive deficiencies in many young people, they may not learn these skills as naturally as the others. Therefore, they may experience lots of difficulties transitioning from the school set up to the workplace.

Remember, people with various disabilities face a very high unemployment rate compared to their peers without a disability. Therefore, it is important to empower them with these skills. The earlier they start learning these skills the better because it might take longer for them to master them.

Help your child with learning challenges build soft skills

Parents and guardians are in the best position to help children and young adults with challenges to acquire soft skills. Because you know your child’s strengths and weaknesses, you know which skills to build on, and which skills the child already has. Also, this understanding can help come up with an Individualized Education Program (IEP) that addresses the soft skills your child needs to acquire.

To help your child you need to plan an effective life skill learning program. You need to know what to teach and how to deliver it in a way that your child will understand. You can use Dr. Nach’s Online Resources’s innovative lessons to do just that. Our life skills lessons are relevant, engaging, and full of perspective such that the learners can apply what they learn in the real world.

Soft skills people with learning challenges require before joining the workforce

Your child will one day become an adult. At that age, he will need to take care of him(her)self, which involves getting a job. And for them to maintain that job, they need the following soft skills;

  • Communication skills– this is the most crucial soft skill in a workplace. Work on the non-verbal communication and make sure child can read and write if possible. Also, teach them the importance of listening, and speaking in ways others understand.
  • Lifelong learning skills– learning does not stop after getting a job. So, encourage your child to be willing to learn new things, and encourage them to be flexible to adapt to change.
  • Decision-makingskills – when faced with a problem, observe how your child responds and comes up with a solution. Encourage them to make decisions instead of seeking help from an authority.
  • Interpersonal skills– these skills include self-advocating and influencing others, conflict resolution, and team building. All these skills are required to effectively interact with others in a workplace.

Please note that learning and acquiring soft skills requires lots of practice, especially for people with learning challenges. Our transitioning, soft skills, and executive functioning programs and counseling/coaching services can help an uncertain future, much more positive.

Dr. Eric Nach, Ph.D., M.Ed., A.S.D. Cert. Developmental and Behavioral Specialist and Associates

5458 Town Center Rd, Suite 7, Boca Raton, FL 33486                 561-990-7305

Sleep Patterns in Teens

Sleep helps with growth and psychological peace. This could help shed light on why little babies sleep so much. However, as one grows, the number of hours they sleep decrease. This is thanks to responsibilities, and in some cases, stress. However, doctors recommend at least 7 – 8 hours of sleep for the well-being of the mind and body. Contrary to popular belief, teens require more hours of sleep, averagely 9 – 10 hours. This is because body growth is at its prime during teenage years. Also, teenagers are involved in vigorous activities like sports for a significant part of the day (if they are not consumed by their “screens”). This leaves them fatigued by the end of the day. However, many teens have a different sleep pattern from the general population.

Many teenagers end up staying up late into the night. And most of them do this voluntarily when they are allowed to. We can blame it on a number of non-natural factors but medical practitioners have proved that the biological clock of teenagers changes slightly during puberty. That is why teenage boys and girls find it “lame” to sleep before the clock hits midnight. The ripple effect of this is that they tend to sleep longer in the morning. However, school won’t let them sleep past 7 am (for those lucky to even sleep up to that time).

Why sleep patterns change in teens

The biological reason

The circadian rhythm is the scientific term for the body’s biological clock. Hormonal changes during puberty trigger growth and maturity in teenage boys and girls. Among the hormones that experience a change in their normal release is melatonin. Melatonin is responsible for sending neural signals to the brain to alert the body that it is now time to sleep or time to wake up.  Change in the normal production of melatonin leads to a delay of its production. Therefore, teenagers tend to feel sleepy about two hours after the adults, on average.

The non-Biological reason

Teenagers are the single most active age group when it comes to technology. It is normal to see teenagers always staring at the screens of their phones while interacting on social media, or staring at bright screens on the laptop or television when catching up on their favorite series.  Production of Melatonin is largely dictated by the amount of light the brain receptors acknowledge. Staring at bright screens past 8 pm alters the normal production of melatonin as the brain receptors perceive that it may not be night time yet. This leads to lack of sleep for a while before body fatigue catches up.

How to deal with sleep patterns in teens

Parents need to understand that sleep patterns in teens cannot be changed at the snap of a finger. The classical “time to sleep” battle between a parent and a teenage child is only natural. However, there are steps that can be taken to ensure teenagers get sufficient sleep.

  1. Parental Involvement – Parents involved in their teenager’s life can control how much TV is being watched past 8 pm and can also regulate cell phone, tablet, and video game usage. This helps in stopping further delay of melatonin production.
  1. Hygiene – Taking showers at night has been proven to aid in sleeping better.
  1. Active involvement – Being actively involved in vigorous activities during the day should leave the teenager exhausted and ready for sleep when its time.

Dr. Eric Nach, Ph.D., M.Ed., A.S.D. Cert. Developmental and Behavioral Specialist and Associates
5458 Town Center Road, Suite 7, Boca Raton, FL 33486.
Telephone: 561-990-7305

Learning To Accept Criticism

Sometimes the feedback we get from others isn’t pleasing even though it may be accurate. Many of us struggle with criticism. We look for explanations to justify the issue and react in defense to what has been said. Some people result in anger, hatred and even attacking the person who gave the feedback. But being able to handle constructive criticism calmly is very critical. It helps us to identify our weaknesses and work towards improving them. Here’s what you need to remember:

Don’t react immediately

The first reaction you will probably have after receiving constructive criticism is likely not going to be nice. You may want to give that nasty facial expression, enter into defense mode or attack the person. Don’t do it; just hold back and process the situation. Remind yourself that you need to stay calm.

Think of the value of feedback

Consider the person’s feedback as information that you can otherwise use to improve your skills, relationship and any other area of concern. Perhaps that person had a certain expectation of you that you probably did not meet. Try and get rid of any preconceived notions that you may have of the person who is giving the feedback. Whether it is a coworker that you do not like or someone you don’t get along with, understand that constructive criticism may come from all sources.

Listen with an aim to understand

You need to listen closely to the information that is being delivered to you. Overcome the temptation of interrupting the person as they share their thoughts. Do not try and analyze their thoughts but instead understand their perspective of things. Try and give that person the benefit of the doubt. It may help you to look at things in a way you never thought. The only way that you will actually benefit from the feedback you receive is if you engage in a very productive conversation with the person giving it. Don’t reply in a defensive and mean tone.

Express appreciation

Even though you are not supposed to overdo this, thank the person who shared the feedback with you. Simply taking your time to say thank you doesn’t mean that you agree on everything the person said. It is simply a gesture that you acknowledged that they took time to evaluate you and share information that could help you become a better person or produce greater results.

Get more clarity

Once you have processed the feedback, it’s probably a good thing to ask questions in order to understand the person’s perspective. Ask questions that are related to the issue that was being raised. You can also ask about methods or solutions to address the issues raised. You can use specific examples to try and understand the person’s perspective and what can be done in similar circumstances. At the same time, share your perspective. You can even request for time to follow up if you would like to close the discussion. At this point, you can express what you will change going forward and agree on the next steps to take.

Dr. Eric Nach, Ph.D., M.Ed., A.S.D. Cert. Developmental and Behavioral Specialist and Associates

5458 Town Center Road, Suite 7, Boca Raton, FL 33486             ph(561)-990-7305

How Can I Teach My Child Empathy?

Empathy is the ability to put oneself in another person’s shoes. It’s being able to understand and be sensitive to people’s feelings whether they are strangers, friends or family members. With empathy comes gratitude, hope and compassionate for others. It’s important for you to start training your child early enough how to tune in to other people’s emotions. Children need to know that they can consider people’s feelings other than just their own. If you would like to make a conscious effort to boost such positive experiences for your young one, below are a few tips to get it done:

Take notice of everyone around you

When you are rude to the waiter when he/she brings the wrong order, understand that your child is likely to take notice. One of the best ways to teach our kids anything is by being an example. So be understanding in all these situations in the presence of your child.

Write ‘thank-you’ notes together

It’s important for children to learn how to show gratitude to others. Convey to your child that the recipient of that note would feel happy when they receive it. Let your child know that you are doing this to make the person feel appreciated.

Stay on lesson

Remember that kids watch your every move. You need to be consistent when it comes to displaying empathy to others. This could mean watching how you communicate as parents and apologizing in front of the kids if you say hurtful things to each other.

Emotional reflection

Make it a tradition to talk and discuss together during dinner. You can start by allowing each child to appreciate something good that was done for them that day. This emotional reflection will allow your child to feel loved and cared for which gives him/her room to feel the same for others.

Understand your child’s needs

Sometimes your child will be a little grumpy just because she/he is sleepy or hungry. It is important to show her/him that you acknowledge how they’re feeling. Don’t be quick to put off your child when she/he acts up. Be calm and show understanding of what they’re going through.

Volunteer with your child

It’s important for your child to know the harsh reality as soon as possible. It could mean taking them to the homeless shelter to help in serving food every Christmas. Acts like this will show kids that they have been blessed and are required to help others. Children need to see that helping the needy is a responsibility and not something they can choose not to do.

Expose them to life’s differences

Present kids with an opportunity to encounter people who are different. For instance, taking your kids to interact with other children who have special needs will help them to know how to handle someone who is not exactly like them even as they grow up. Children need to be shown that there are other kids with serious medical issues and need to be shown empathy. Talk to your kids regarding this before you decide to take them.

Dr. Eric Nach, Ph.D., M.Ed., A.S.D. Cert. Developmental and Behavioral Specialist and Associates

Is Anxiety Always Bad?

Anxiety and stress are somewhat inevitable in this life. You only need to know how much is too much and manage these unpleasant experiences the best way possible. In fact, anxiety can be a good sign because it shows that you actually care. You need to learn how to manage anxiety without letting it overwhelm you completely.

Focus on the positive effects of anxiety

Think of anxiety as something that can bring you some positive effects. Get rid of the mentality that anxiety can only be associated with negative effects. For instance, when you are stressed you are more capable of focusing on the tasks at hand because your mindset is occupied on the situation that is causing the stress. As a result, you will be able to get more done and be productive focusing on the important tasks.

Build your resilience

The good thing with stress is that it makes you tougher. You will be able to deal with tougher situations mentally and physically when you go through some level of stress. It helps you to create deeper connections with people around you and also strengthens your belief helping you focus on priorities. Research shows that stress helps in production of growth hormones that boost immunity and help in rebuilding cells in the body.

Choose to interpret things in a positive way

Learn to interpret situations in a positive way. It really helps if you learn to look at things in a different perspective. You will get a more balanced and sometimes accurate view of the situation if you carefully process what is causing you anxiety. Think of what it would be like if you turned the issue upside down. Think about what you would say to a loved one going through the same situation. How would you help someone else to look at the issue from a different angle? Changing your perspective can really help to get a positive feel of things.

Focus on moving forward

Replace anxiety with the steps you need to take in order to get the best possible outcome. What do you need to do in order to boost your performance and get back on the right mood? Always remember that not all stress is bad. How you choose to navigate the stress is what matters most. Choose to handle it to the best of your ability and attain your goals.

Use anxiety as a performance enhancer

Think of anxiety as something that would help you to become better at facing situations in life and actually performing better. Think of how you can move forward from challenging situations and be proactive. If you do not perceive the situation as a threat, you will not be forced to respond in a fearful way. However, if you look at it as a challenge then you would be overwhelmed with fear and fail to resolve the situation. Shift your perception by focusing on the hidden benefits of the situation. Remind yourself that you have the strength to handle it.

Dr. Eric Nach, Ph.D., M.Ed., A.S.D. Cert. Developmental and Behavioral Specialist and Associates

The Ultimate Checklist Of Life Skills Needed By A College Student

You are about to leave your comfort zone, the home you have known for years, for college. Your parents have taken care of you over the years, which might mean that you missed out on important lessons on how to do things for yourself. Are you really ready for life outside of your parents’ watch? Here is a checklist of life skills you need to survive on your own as a college student. See how you score-it might inform you on whether or not you are ready to live on your own.

  • Doing your laundry

You should be able to figure out the details that go into doing your laundry well. This include knowing how to sort clothes and how much detergent to use and so on. If you haven’t learnt this already, you will have a pretty difficult time seeing that wearing clean clothes is an everyday necessity.

  • Making a budget

While in college, you will be required to foot your bills and keep track of your expenditure. It doesn’t matter if you are paying this out of the wages of a part time job or through your parents’ assistance, you need to have a budget to guide you.

  • Making your bed

While in college, there will be no one to make your bed for you. If you wake up and leave behind a messy bed, you will find the same waiting for you at the end of the day. Seeing as college dorm rooms tend to be a bit on the smaller size, a little mess goes a long way. As such, you might want to keep things tidy by learning how to make your bed properly.

  • Tying a tie

You might get invited to formal events during your college years. Formal events require that you wear a tie. Learn how to tie a tie. While at it, it is also necessary to learn the proper way to iron clothes. You do not want to wear a tie over a creased shirt!

  • Changing a tire

You should not have to call AAA every time your car needs changing.

  • Using a gas pump

There are more self-serve gas pumps compared to full-serve ones. Do you know how to use one? If not, it might be time to learn.

  • Using coupons

Money is hard to come by when you are in campus. If you can, make use of coupons and watch your costs decrease.

  • Sewing buttons

You do not have to throw out your shirts every time a button comes off. Replacing buttons is something that everyone and not just grandma should know.

  • What to do in case of an emergency

Whether it is a car accident or a dorm room incident, you should know what is expected of you and respond appropriately. Granted, thinking about accidents can come across as morbid and you do not want to be that morbid college student. However, accidents do happen and you should be well informed in order to offer the necessary assistance in the event of one.


Dr. Eric Nach, Ph.D., M.Ed., A.S.D. Cert. Developmental and Behavioral Specialist and Associates

Soft Skills Can Be Hard!

Soft skills are the interpersonal traits that allows us to effectively relate to how others think and act. These skills enhance our personal interactions and lead to greater social, personal, academic, and work performance and satisfaction. Unlike hard skills, which are the technical and knowledge skill set we bring to our work or classes, soft skills are interpersonal and can be applied in many more situations.  Soft skills encompass personality traits, such as optimism, communication skills, teamwork, listening, responsibility, social skills, personal motivation, advocacy, problem solving, giving and receiving feedback, decision making, flexibility, and conflict resolution skills and abilities which can be practiced, such as empathy. Like all skills, soft skills can be learned, once taught.

Definition of Soft Skills

Soft skills are personal attributes that allow us to effectively relate to others. Learning, practicing, and applying these skills helps us build stronger personal, social, and work relationships. Often schools place the focus of our career development efforts on hard skills – technology skills, knowledge, and other skills that specifically relate to our ability to get work-related tasks done. This means we may neglect to develop our soft skills. However, some of us have a particularly difficult time learning soft skills and need to learn them through direct instruction, such as the classes offered at the As a result, they are an investment worth making.

Empathy and the Emotional Intelligence Quotient

When we demonstrate empathy, we create connections with others, which can help to build teamwork or otherwise create shared goals and mutually enjoyable experiences. Empathy also helps to develop stronger interpersonal connections between peers, team members and colleagues, which is as important as shared goals or complementary skills when it comes to accomplishing tasks in our personal, social, school, or work lives.

Empathy is one component of what is known as Emotional Intelligence, or EI. Emotional Intelligence is the ability to recognize and manage our feelings so that they are expressed appropriately by society. Exercising emotional intelligence helps to create caring, reciprocal, productive relationships.

There are four key components to Emotional Intelligence:

  • Self-awareness: The ability to recognize our own feelings and motivations
  • Self-management: The ability to appropriate express (or not express) our feelings
  • Social awareness: Our ability to recognize the feelings and needs of others, and the norms of a given situation
  • Relationship management: Our ability to relate effectively to others

Taken together, these skills make up our Emotional Intelligence Quotient (EQI). The EQI is a measure of your ability to exercise soft skills such as empathy.


Professionalism is simply the ability to conduct ourselves with responsibility, integrity, accountability, and excellence. Acting with professionalism also means seeking to communicate effectively with others and finding a way to be productive. Professionalism involves what may seem to be small acts, such as:

  • Always reporting to work on time and returning promptly from breaks
  • Dressing appropriately
  • Being clean and neat
  • Speaking clearly and politely to peers, customers, and clients
  • Striving to meet high standards for one’s own school or career work
  • Performing in a manner consistent with our own moral and ethical standards

Learned vs. Inborn Traits

Because soft skills are talked about as traits of a person’s character, it may seem as though you have to be born with them. While some soft skills come more easily to one person than they might to another, soft skills are not inborn. Like all skills, they can be learned. Because we all have our own preferences and ways of moving through the world, some soft skills may be more difficult to learn than others. But if we think back, there are also aspects of our hard skill set that were difficult at first, though they now seem to come quite naturally to us. We develop soft skills in the same way we develop hard skills- direct instruction and practice. You don’t have to be born with great listening skills to become an amazing listener – you can learn and build these skills throughout your life.

Make that first interaction a memorable one; be respectful, make eye or facial contact, shake hands firmly, listen closely and respond to questions. 

Dr. Eric Nach

Dr. Eric Nach, Ph.D., M.Ed., A.S.D. Cert. Developmental and Behavioral Specialist and Associates

Coping with Change: ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorders, and Other “Issues”

“Our children” are often identified as being “creatures of habit”, they tend to be highly regimented and rigid in their ways of thinking and acting. Virtually any type of change in environment and routine can become a massive dilemma for all children and teens, especially “our children” with “varied needs”.

Our children will have many new experiences to encounter as the school year winds down, summer vacation begins, and then the summer winds down and the school year begins again. Many parents experience either “selective forgetting” or feelings of “dread” as our children transition through these changes year after year.

So what’s a parent to do to help their child transition through times of change? Here are some suggestions based on my decades of teaching, training, and counseling children, teens, young adults and their families with special needs:

  1. Parents can and should use “modeling and role-playing” to help their child prepare for the ending or beginning of a new routine.
  2. Parents can spend time, along with siblings “training” their child how to create new routines and especially how to have some level of flexibility in these time of transitioning.
  3. Parents can develop a clear-cut timetable for the transition so their child will know what to expect and how they will still be able to have time to do preferred tasks. Even though little occurs perfectly, knowing what to expect will bring comfort to our children.
  4. Parents typically get best results by explaining Who, What, When, Where, and How factors play into the transitioning events and activities their child will experience. How this information is presented is just as important as when and where. During times of stress and turmoil is NOT the time to discuss potential changes, wait until our child and their environment are at peace to have these discussions.
  5. Parents need to have their child be part of the decision making process to establish better buy-in.
  6. Parents who create a “reward schedule” for a relatively smooth transition are most likely to see a less traumatic transition period.
  7. Parents who understand that it will take time and work for their children to get acclimated to a new routine and that they will likely experience some struggles as they go tend to be happiest. We are looking for “progress not perfection”.
  8. Parents who keep routine as times of change occur tend to be happiest. Parents who continue with light academics and various types of therapies that the child typically experiences throughout the school year tend to have a smoother time at transitioning and experience the least amount of regression of skills throughout the summer months. Social skills groups, camps, and activities where our children can experience successes lead to better social, academic, and behavioral development.

Dr. Eric Nach, Ph.D., M.Ed., A.S.D. Cert. Developmental and Behavioral Specialist and Associates