Skillset New Zealand Blog

Ideas to help your team develop personally and professionally.

Here’s something about our life courage that’s become obvious in my meeting and presentation skills workshops.

We know instinctively that the group consciousness can see through our flaws and failings like an x-ray. Which is why many of us would rather have a heart attack at 36,000 feet. (I didn’t make that up; one survey of our greatest fears found that the average level of fear of public speaking is greater than the fear of death and the fear of flying combined.)

So through body language and voice we can't help but display our nervousness to the audience. How ironic. The fear is usually more damaging to our status than any imperfections we might harbour. (Well, okay, it doesn’t apply to you if you mug little old ladies and steal candy from babies.)

An old story, yes? The fear is itself the enemy.

And the rest of our lives? It’s no different. That fear of being seen through makes us cultivate veneers we present to the world, even though all veneers ultimately become transparent. Historically, many have taken their veneers into marriage, where they have swiftly become see-through to the audience of one.

Here's the point. The reverse is also true. The most magnetic, intriguing, influential personalities are those who have reached this understanding of life:

Yes, people can see through my flaws and failings and I’m okay with that.

What a release! What a buzz! What a feeling of confidence and strength! When we don't care so much about what others think of us, that inner state in itself makes others think better of us. They can't read such thoughts of course, they're simply attracted to the greater strength they sense in us.

Of course, there’s one little drawback to allowing ourselves to be seen through. What if we can’t stand our own flaws and failings?

That's another story.

About Michael Brown

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Michael is a senior trainer with Skillset, based in Christchurch.

He is a leading authority on training in presentation and news media skills in New Zealand. He has special expertise in how to present emotionally charged topics to challenging audiences. Michael has trained thousands of New Zealanders and worked with people who speak on behalf of some of the country's largest organisations.

Michael is a prolific author and his books on speaking and working with the media are in their fourth editions.

Speaking Easy: how to speak to your audiences with confidence and authority

Media Easy: how to handle the news media with confidence and authority

One of Michael's books is about his family's adventures sailing in the Pacific.

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