I had a blast at a recent speaking engagement in Tucson, Arizona. I love walking an audience through business processes – a potentially deadly dull subject – and have them light up with understanding and relief that their business can be so much easier!
But as I reviewed the video I shot of my presentation, I started thinking, “Uh-oh. I don’t look like other professional speakers.”
I noticed that I laughed a bit too much, my hand gestures weren’t crisp, I strayed from my outline, and overall, I just looked, well… different. Cataloging the things I needed to change left me feeling a bit flat.
But then, I reviewed the experience again in my mind. The audience was engaged and participating. They laughed with me. They gave me immediate feedback about the positive difference my subject made. And, most telling, 90% of the room signed up to work with me further.
Then I laughed out loud. Oh my gosh, I was doing exactly what I help people stop doing – thinking they have to be like everyone else!
Do you ever have the reaction I did? When you notice that you do things differently, do you start thinking, “Uh-oh, I’m going to fail/get laughed at/do it wrong forever”?
Give yourself the gift of a reality check and realize that the people who make it big in the world are not mimicking other greats. Think of Stevie Nicks and her raspy voice – what if she had tried to be just like Joan Baez? Or if Joan Baez strove to be like Janice Joplin?*
Instead of focusing on the sinking feeling that you’re not up to par, focus on how your uniqueness lets you stand out from the crowd. Be yourself. You’ll have a lot more fun.
* For those of you unfamiliar with these women, they are singers that completely broke the mold in their time. Absolutely, beautifully, powerfully unique.