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Be Human Not Perfect
by Barbara Rocha

Don't try to be perfect.

If you're focused on being perfect you can’t be the speaker you'd like to be. When you focus on being perfect it tends to make you slightly mechanical. It also interferes with being conversational.

The audience gets the feeling that the speaker isn't genuine and not that engaged — those speakers might be technically good but they’re missing the point.

In your own life, if you know someone who's perfect and you like that person, is it because he or she is perfect, or in spite of it? As a speaker, perfection isn't a worthy goal. There is no upside to focusing on being perfect.

Public speaking is about sharing ideas and helping the audience. It’s not about wowing them with how good we look or how perfectly prepared we are. So, why do we try so hard to give a perfect presentation when the only possible result is that we won't be our usual charming selves?

Instead, focus on helping them, on developing a relationship with them, so they can relax and consider your message. If you try to impress them with how good you are, your message gets lost as does the connection.

Wanting to be perfect can cause you to focus on your gestures, or your "uh's" or on saying all the words exactly the way you wrote them down. The result is that you're focused on yourself and totally leaving out your audience.

Your job is to connect with your audience. When you do they're more likely to see you as genuine and believable. If you make that connection, they'll forgive a misspoken number or less than dynamic platform skills. Trying to be perfect keeps you from connecting and keeps you from selling your idea.