Who has not had a flaw that plagues their life? It can be physical, psychological, linked to our entourage, our studies, our parents… and we have to learn to live with it! The exercise of presenting and more generally of public speaking, has the particularity of confronting us regularly with these little shortcomings, which we would love to get rid of.
When we talk about flaws, we’re not talking about a minor mannerism that is easy to correct… we’re talking about the big problem that accompanies us all the time and that typically manifests itself at the worst moment, the trap in which we regularly fall into while telling ourselves: “this is the last time I’ll fall for it!” And what if your flaws were your best allies?
Indeed, public speaking is in the sphere of ego, self-confidence, personal image, taboos, stress… so many parameters that we somehow try to manage. Since fear of public speaking affects over 75% of the population, we are faced with a large majority of speakers who envy the luck of others: because they speak better, they have a beautiful voice, a great presence, charisma, … but they neglect the fact that these people may indeed ignore their gift and envy other people in turn.
In fact, when you envy others, you’re mistaking your goal! We don’t present for ourselves, to showcase ourselves, to demonstrate what we know or hide what we don’t accept. While we may at times have a hidden agenda, it will only be achieved if we are fully at the service of our message and the approval from our audience. This means you have to assert your personality and therefore… your flaws. Assertiveness is a fundamental step to improving your speaking skills and we have made it one of the three pillars of our M.P.G. (Minimum Presence Guaranteed) method.
In a world where the competition of ideas is increasingly harsh, being content to envy others leads at best to resistance to change and at worst to standardization! From the moment we understand that the goal of speaking is to make an impact, our flaws become a valuable asset because they can distinguish us from others. The speech impediment that we cannot stand, the voice we don’t like, the body that’s a bit too atypical, become our trademarks. And those who you envy, who are lucky to be in the “norm” will eventually say to you: “but you’re lucky they notice you!”
Not only do your flaws make you unique, they also make you stronger because you had to learn to adapt. A few weeks ago, we were talking about applying pitch techniques to prepare for job interviews. Many candidates fear the recurring question: “Can you name one quality and one flaw?” In this kind of exercise in style, it is counterproductive to give ready-made answers like: “I’m too much of a perfectionist, impatient, or picky…” If you decide to affirm a real fault, you may take the risk of worrying the interviewer. But, above all you will benefit from sounding sincere and showing that what you have learned to do to overcome your flaw, through your work or your creativity, is more valuable than the inconvenience of the fault itself.
So long live our faults, no more big people envying little people, no more little envying big… asserting who you are and making the most of it to make an impact, is the best way to make people listen to the ideas you carry!