Skillset New Zealand Blog

Ideas to help your team develop personally and professionally.

I’ve heard it more times that I can count: “Oh, the X-factor? You have to be born with it.” But popularity doesn’t make the saying right.

I know it's a myth because I’ve seen the opposite in scores of presentation skills training workshops. It's no exaggeration. I have seen hundreds of people arrive with nervousness and self-consciousness, then depart not only with significantly greater skills, but knowing that they can enjoy speaking in public.

And there’s a destructive side to the X-factor myth. Many people use the concept to tell themselves, “I wasn’t born good at this, so it’s no good trying to become good at it.”

Here's my real problem with that belief - it's a self-fulfilling prophecy. Our beliefs have more power over us than a hurricane.

Competent, persuasive, presentation skills can be learned.


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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