August 24, 2007

Someone told me I'm an artist

Scott Adams tells a story here about how much his drawing improved when someone with credibility (a comic syndication editor when he was just starting out) told him he was an artist. He says, "It was like my very own Wizard of Oz moment, where the Wizard told me all I needed was a syndication contract and I would become a talented cartoonist."

This made me wonder if all some speakers need is for someone to see them as a speaker!

That is, if you feel insecure about your abilities, but you do your best and your audience appreciates you and you continue to be invited to speak - will that make you better? Will you improve just by knowing that others think you're good at what you do?

I'm sure it helped me improve, when I was just starting out, to be invited back and to believe I was successful because others told me I was successful. And maybe believing I was successful caused my brain to hang onto the positive aspects of my performance and reconstitute them each time. We know that positive reinforcement is a powerful tool in creating behavior change, and a lot of that happens unconsciously.

Has this happened to you in other areas of your life? Has it happened to you as a speaker?

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