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.


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