Think You’re Not The Right Person To Give That Presentation? (Think Again)

by Janice Tomich

You Are Perfect

Call me a late bloomer. I won’t be insulted because I actually am. In my late forties I returned to post secondary to receive my communication degree and it was because of those few years I really hit my stride.

I had some brilliant professors – one in particular whom I remember fondly. She often shared with my cohort that we were “perfect as we are”.

My first reaction was confusion and the second was absolute disagreement. I “knew” I had a long way to go to becoming perfect.

It took me a while to wrap my head around what she was telling us. Fast forward a few years and I see it repeated time and time again in the (misguided) thoughts of my clients – that lack of belief that they aren’t good enough.

Have you heard of the 33.3% rule? A wise woman shared this concept with me and it’s stayed with me.

In your life a third of those you meet will love you, a third will think you’re okay, and the remaining third won’t like you. How other people view you is essentially out of your control. I agree and see it play out everyday. We are perfect as we are to ourselves in this moment and there isn’t a hope that you are going to make everyone happy or like you. And that third that like you today, well it can go either way tomorrow.

I am not recommending you “fake it until you make it” either. I don’t agree with the concept because when we fake it we’re essentially lying. We’re giving the impression that we know something we don’t. There’s everything right with trying new things. It’s how we learn but to tell someone we know something we’re not experienced at is selling like a snake oil salesman.

We all come with our life experience. When we’re asked to speak it’s because we have a body of work and are subject matter experts. There are others who know more in your field and those who know less. You come at your experience from a unique perspective and that’s what your peers or an audience wants to hear.

“I have been delivering presentations for years but rather than looking forward to the experience, I would be anxious for days or weeks before. I no longer am with the support of Janice. In a few sessions, she changed my perception towards presenting.”

Angela Ferarro
Managing Director, International Education, Burnaby School District

Get past presentation anxiety
(info on presentation coaching package)

Women in particular think they need to have their ducks in a row. Many times I have invited or recommend speaking events to well respected female subject matter experts and they decline saying they aren’t ready…not perfect enough. Here’s an insightful TEDx video by June Cohen who shares the complicated reasons why women are underrepresented at speaking venue

There’s always something to new to be learned. But as subject matter experts no one knows it like you do. You are perfect.  My hope is the next time you’re asked your reply will be a resounding yes.

To your voice!

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