January 26, 2009

He's no Barack Obama...

How many times have you heard someone described as "not" something or someone? How many times have you described yourself this way? "I'm no Ellen, but I'm pretty funny." "I'm no Mother Theresa, but I do love helping people." "I'm no Brad Pitt, but I get enough dates."

I've been reading articles that compare various politicians as speakers to President Obama -- unfavorably, of course. Guess what: No one is Barack Obama. There's only one. His speaking style, poise, voice resonance, cadence and use of rhetorical devices are all his.

You may not be comparing yourself to someone famous. You may be comparing yourself to a co-worker who always gets the audience laughing with his silly jokes or larger-than-life personality on stage. You may be comparing yourself to your friend, who always seems able to think on her feet and give split-second perfectly articulate responses to any question.

Well, there's only one of your co-worker, only one of your friend. Each is unique in her or his own way.

And guess what else: There's only one YOU. Instead of comparing yourself to others and finding yourself lacking, try acknowledging your own positive qualities for a change. You don't have to be Ellen funny or Obama articulate to make an impact on an audience.

Sure, you can play around with humor and rhetoric. You can learn how to use your voice more effectively. You can prepare better in order to think on your feet or speak off the cuff.

Just remember that you are still yourself. Incorporate your new skills but remain authentic. Stop comparing yourself to others or trying to become like someone else.

You just have to be the best you that you can be.

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5 comments. Please add yours! :

Anonymous said...

I'm no Lisa Braithwaite but I try to publish a good public speaking blog :)

Anonymous said...

...even if, in my haste to publish a comment at 2.30am, I mis-type my own name!

Lisa Braithwaite said...

Thanks for the laugh!

Anonymous said...

Hi Lisa, I like your blog. I have just published a book speaking about Obama oratory, called "El secreto de Obama" and it will be published in English soon. If you want to know my blog is: http://elsecretodeobama.blogspot.com

Lisa Braithwaite said...

Thanks, I'll check it out. Congratulations on your book!

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