University of Houston’s Brene Brown is a vulnerability researcher and in one of her TED talks, she asks: Do you have the courage to be imperfect?
As I listened to her message, what resonated the most for me is that the majority of clients I’ve been coaching since 1994 all have something in common. That is they believe they need to be perfect when they communicate, whether it’s in a presentation, interview, meeting, etc.
Last month in Forbes, contributor, Dr. Nick Morgan, a communication theorist wrote that public speaking is inherently imperfect. As a professional speaker and communication coach, this statement makes perfect sense to me (no pun intended).
Thinking back to the clients I serve, their belief that it’s their job to sound perfect is an immense burden to overcome; perhaps it is for you as well. Stop for a moment and consider that if we spoke perfectly:
1. We would most likely sound overly rehearsed.
2. We would bore ourselves as well as those listening to us.
3. We would tend to obsess on what matters to us vs. what matters to our audience.
4. We would be inclined to beat ourselves up if we didn’t measure up.
5. We would forget that our listeners are imperfect.
So does this mean we should reduce our standards and settle into mediocrity? For those who know me…the answer would be “no.” Instead, as you develop your communication and speaking skills, set realistic goals, allow yourself to make mistakes and have the courage to sound imperfect.
Believe it or not, those are the qualities of the best public speakers! Give me a call and let’s discuss your business communication goals.