I received a really cool compliment recently. It reinforced what I am doing is on the money. I am reaching people. Connecting my message with their pain points. Providing solutions to help the small businesses I work with stand out.
I was told, I was one of the best speakers this person had seen … and I know this person has sat in front of many professional speakers. People bigger, more successful who are making a cracker barrel more money than me.
The reason why this compliment filled my heart … it proved that being myself has enormous value … and I do not have to really try hard to be myself.
I have never seen myself as a professional speaker. I am an ex journo who has harnessed what I know to meet the needs of my target audience (sounds so clinical). After losing what I thought was an awesome career op, I spiralled into depression. I was mourning the loss of my identity that was so tied to what I was doing for a job. In my mid-40s, I thought that was the end.
Ah … the power of reinvention. I took skills crafted over 20 plus year writing stories for newspapers and magazines and jumped the fence (same may say the dark side) – teaching people how to find and share their stories with the media.
Bliss! I absolutely LOVE what I do.
To be honest with you (and my husband will tell you this is true) I don’t really acknowledge or give myself credit for how good I am at what I do and how much the joy and love for my craft shines through. I just do it.
When I stand in front of people sharing my knowledge, I am just myself. I’ve not done a speaking course … sometimes I am really really bad at asking for a sale … sometimes I drop the occasional swear word … and I’ve been known to crack corny jokes. But … at all times I AM 100% ME.
I’m not slick, smooth, suave, practiced or even tight. I give the same presentation but it changes every time depending on how I feel and the energy I get from the audience. My videos are not professional edited. My Facebook posts are from my heart. My marketing is a reflection of me.
You know what I’ve found out over the past 2 1/2 years in business … you do not have to pretend or to ‘fake it till you make it’ to connect with others … to secure new clients … to build a business. Because the RIGHT people … the people you want to do business with … the people you click with and build great relationships will want to do business with you because of YOU.
One of my fav sayings is ‘people do not care how much you know, until they know how much you care.’
As long as you are authentic. Speak from the heart. Don’t apologise for who you are. The right people will do business with you.