Skillset New Zealand Blog

Ideas to help your team develop personally and professionally.

I help nervous speakers discover confidence and authority. It’s the best of jobs because it overlaps perfectly with my lifetime impulse – finding the ultimate answer to the ultimate question: Who am I?

Imagine that you turn up to one of my workshops (for example: The Engaging Presenter). Understandably, you would expect a few useful bullet points. But it’s way more intense than that. This kind of training confronts you with that same question: Who am I? And, if you’re like many, your self-image won’t take kindly to the prospect of a redefinition.

For example, I might ask you to tilt your head and spine towards individuals you look at (people with great confidence and presence do exactly that). Now, in spite of enthusiastic applause from the other participants and video replay, you might say, ‘But that feels weird. It’s not me.’ Which often amounts to this accusation: ‘Are you trying to change who I am?’

No. I’m trying to change who you think you are. Who you really are has no limit.

Did you know that in India, domesticated baby elephants are usually tethered on chain and stake? But by the time they’re adults, a thin rope and a flimsy stick are enough to hold them. All that’s really holding these powerful beasts is their own minds, restricting them to the circle defined by the rope. I’m sure you’ve got the point.

For me, helping others seek a bigger and better answer to Who am I? is simply wonderful. And, surprise, surprise, that process helps me continue my own quest for my own answer.

The boomerang comes back.

Funny thing. I told my wife Sue I was intending to write this, and she pointed to her own parallel. Officially, she helps injured, fragile people, usually elderly. Unofficially – she might not like me saying this – she is a healer, her presence brings about such heart-warming change. Anyway she said this, “When I help people value themselves, that makes me value myself.”

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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