041: Mini Moved Me - On Humanizing Yourself

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On this week’s Mini Moved Me, I talk about the bridging the gap between audience member and speaker with the little moments that make us human.

I was doing an auditioning workshop (back in the day when I was an actor), and was performing a monologue to a group of peers, and my acting coach. We were heading off into the big world of auditions and were making sure we were in tip-top shape. I think the monologue went well.  I was feeling great - thanked the judges - and on my way out, I went out the wrong door.  Or, I TRIED to go out the wrong door. It was locked. I laughed, turning around to the judges, and sort of sheepishly made way towards the correct door, trying to make the most of the moment.

I was mortified.

But, my coach - a phenomenal director who's had some amazing success - said to me "That was the best moment. It endeared us to you. It was memorable."

I think about that often when we worry so much about doing everything right in our talks - of hiding our mistakes.  Mistakes - if you can even call them that - that are simply the result of being alive. Of being human.

I was coaching a woman who had spent most of her life working really hard to NOT let people see her faults, her foibles.  She had mastered the art of competence and professionalism. And she was very successful.

The problem was, she was hard to connect with.

But - unintentionally - she did something in one of her talks that endeared the audience to her. She must have had a weak moment when her humanness couldn't help but bust itself out of her shell. She kinda-sorta (but not really) swore. And the audience had this moment with her - because we've all been there, and they were so relieved to know that she was human.  She is one of us! - not up on some pedestal, but one of us.

It was the best moment of her talk. All that preparation - that focus on professionalism and planning all the 'right' moves.  Well, it didn't get her very far. But one moment of humanness?  It worked wonders.

We need to see YOU, to connect with you. When the moment presents itself, don't be afraid to be your wonderfully human self.