Skillset New Zealand Blog

Ideas to help your team develop personally and professionally.

The beast? That's the horrific inner voice that whispers in our heads - rubbish like this:

You're going to make mistakes... You're going to forget your words... Don't put yourself out on a limb, or they'll see all your flaws... Don't act confident or they'll think you're arrogant.... You lack credibility because you're too hairy / bald / fat / skinny / young / old / wrinkled / naff / pigeon-toed... (choose your own)

Recently I saw the perfect example of how to tame the beast.

Josh (name changed) came to one of my workshops on how to engage any audience. He delivered his first piece in front of the camera. He was so obviously good that the moment he finished, one of the others in the group said, "What are you doing here? You don't need any training." And the others nodded.

Now here's the fascinating bit. When the group used an analysis tool on Josh's video, they discovered that he had, in fact, made mistakes in content and broken some of my rules and suggestions. And they hadn't noticed at the time. That's so important, don't miss it.

They didn't notice his mistakes.

Whyever not? Let me summarise the fascinating conversation that followed. Josh was an example of how effective you can be when you have the courage to be imperfect. He was completely comfortable with us seeing him as a whole person, flaws and all. He is completely comfortable with who he is - a rare self-gift.

When you choose to become comfortable with who you are - flaws and all - the audience chooses to be comfortable with you and they either don't notice or don't care about your flaws. In other words, they don't care unless you make them care by worrying about it.

Josh did stay, but all he learned was a few superficial nuances. He already had what really matters, and what audiences admire.

Choose to have the courage to be imperfect and your imperfections become invisible.


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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