December 10, 2010

Be humble

You may have a lifetime of experience as a speaker.

You may be THE expert in your field.

You may know more about your topic than just about anyone.

But still... be humble.

It might be hard to be humble when you're really good at something. You might want everyone to know how good you are. You might feel the need to be recognized for your vast talents and knowledge.

Just remember: Without the audience, there is no speaker. Without an audience, you do not exist. You need the audience as much as they need you. Never forget that.

So keep improving, keep honing your skills. Keep focusing on being the best you can be and paying attention to the audience's needs, wants and interests.

Instead of worrying about whether everyone knows how great you are, think about putting that energy into making the audience feel special, feel like you're there just for them, feel like you appreciate and care about them and are giving them your absolute best.

If you want to go far in your career or as a speaker, humility will take you farther than arrogance.

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4 comments. Please add yours! :

Anke Tröder said...

Nice post! And all in the season’s spirit.

It is amazing how much energy we can get from our audience.

The other day I showed a student a test video tape of myself made in an empty room. Something was missing.

You laugh much more when you work with us, she said.

That is what an audience will do to/for you in return for a good talk.

Thx for reminding us.

Season’s greetings!


Lisa Braithwaite said...

Thanks for your comment, Anke! I did have a sense of holiday spirit when I wrote this. :-) I love my audiences and I never take them for granted, no matter how small or informal. I need them!

Happy holidays to you!


Nick Smith said...

This is a good point, Lisa. Lots of people I've worked with (who need polish) don't work to improve at presenting because they think they're good enough. It has a lot to do with self-awareness, too. If you knew how good you really were(n't) you wouldn't be so arrogant.

Your post reminded me of this oldie-but-goodie:

It's Hard to Be Humble

Lisa Braithwaite said...

Nick, thanks for the link! I used to love Mac Davis, and of course, the Muppets -- I'll have to take some time to enjoy that clip!

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