Be The Best Speaker You Can Be

Aim to be good enough.

You want to be the best speaker you can be, don’t you?

But maybe you don’t think you’re good enough, so you don’t take up opportunities or you remain silent in meetings.

In this post we’ll look at why perfectionism can hold back speakers (and others). And we’ll discuss the benefit of aiming to be the best speaker you can be and accepting that’s good enough.

How To Be The Best Speaker YOU Can Be

Where do we start?

Firstly, try to accept that you don’t have to be the best. Just aim to be the best speaker you can be.

If you want to speak at an event, launch a new product, release a new website or write a blog post, aiming for perfection will slow you down or even stop you completely. You see, perfection (in your eyes) is probably not achievable.

You see, you don’t have to be perfect. Because good enough is good enough.

Good Enough – Who Decides?

Who judges whether that new product is good enough? If one customer criticises it but 99 are happy, is that one person right?

Good website design should put the visitor first. Of course, it is important to take that approach. But the slight problem is that ten visitors to the website will have ten different views on it.

Blogs express the views of their writers. Not everyone will agree with them. Most readers will find them useful or entertaining. Although a few others won’t.

Is it OK to be ‘good enough’?

Being good enough doesn’t mean being sloppy, careless, poor quality, indifferent. Of course not; far from it.

The motivational speaker and ex-Olympic athlete, Kriss Akabusi, has described the 400 metres hurdles final at the Olympics in Barcelona.

Akabusi didn’t win the gold medal that day.

He didn’t even win the silver medal.

But he ran faster than he’d ever run before. He ran faster than any British athlete had ever run.

His third place and the bronze medal represented the best that he could be that day. Surely that was good enough?

Is Akabusi a perfect speaker?

Perhaps not. You see, when he gets excited, which is often, he speaks very quickly and his exact words can be difficult to take in. But not for one moment will you fail to understand his message. And you will never forget having heard him speak.

Olympic Bronze. Good enough?

Be the best you can be, whether that's as a speaker or winning Olympic Bronze. That will be good enough.

When Good Enough Is Good Enough

Henneke Duistermaat was fed up using shiny but boring and artificial stock images for her blog posts. So she decided to learn to draw. And that led to the creation of her alter ego called Henrietta.

Henneke talks about her first article featuring Henrietta: “The evening before publication, I tried to perfect the drawing. The nose of Henrietta wasn’t pointing in the right direction, her finger was odd, or the perspective was wrong. I drew 7 or 8 versions before deciding Henrietta would never be perfect.”

Henneke goes on to say, “Publishing that first drawing on my blog taught me to aim for “good enough” rather than try to achieve perfection.”

Most of us would think Henrietta more than good enough, and certainly in a league far above the images that appear in this blog.

Henneke’s blog post, How to Captivate Readers with Simple Drawings, tells the full story of the creation of Henrietta and accepting she just needed to be good enough.

It’s important to accept that you are good enough and not succumb to imposter syndrome.

Do You Have Imposter Syndrome?

To quote Wikipedia, impostor syndrome is a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their skills, talents or accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a fraud.

So what does this mean in practice?

If you write an article or deliver a presentation, it is all too easy to doubt your expertise or qualification to do so. You question that you are good enough to be standing there in front of all those people.

Or perhaps you declined the opportunity to speak because of your fears.

So instead of speaking, you are now sitting in the audience listening. Listening to someone else speaking.

This is a real expert. Or is it?

Could it be that they just have more confidence than you? Maybe they know less about the subject than you do but that hasn’t stopped them.

The Best Speaker You Can Be – Can’t v. Can

I can’t do that speech because …

Gosh, isn’t it easy to find reasons not to do something? Trying to find the confidence to stand in front of an audience can be very difficult.

Glossophobia, or fear of public speaking, as you and I would call it, is very common. And some of the reasons can be deep rooted. But if that fear is because you are inclined to perfectionism and you doubt you’ll be good enough, let’s try to look at it from the opposite direction.

I could do that speech if …

I accept that I may not be perfect. But I’ll try to be the best speaker I can be. If I prepare well and practice, I will be good enough.

The American business author, Seth Godin, talks about writing books. He hasn’t read reviews of his books for the last ten years because, “A one-star review doesn’t tell me I did a bad job. It tells me the wrong person read my book.”

Yes You Can!

Forget trying to be perfect. It’ll hold you back, stop you being creative, stop you achieving. Just work at being the best speaker you can be and that’ll be good enough.

And if you get the chance to hear Kriss Akabusi speak, grab it. He’s not ‘the perfect public speaker’, but he’s definitely good enough. And the energy he brings will leave you needing a lie down in a darkened room afterwards!

PS – We hope this blog post is good enough :-)

 

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