177: MMM - On Starting Your Talk With Perfection In Mind



In the last week, I’ve had several conversations with you about that moment when I’m asking you to stand up and give it a go… the moment when we’re trying this all on for size. All the words we’ve fussed over, the ideas we’ve thoughtfully and painstakingly clarified - dug deeper to to get it ‘just right’ - and then we’re at the moment where we’re putting it to the test. Taking it from theory to practice. And it feels like a big moment.

Just this week I’ve heard things like:

I’m feeling really vulnerable

I’m nervous

What if I hate this? 

Ugh! I hate this!

And I know you don’t hate what we’ve created; you are simply afraid this work is not going to work.

I get it.

There’s no way to get to the other side without going through. And to get through, we have to get uncomfortable.

We have to… And I’m guessing you’ve heard this before… you have let go of the perfect presentation - the idea that’s in our heads and that we imagine for ourselves and that is making taking this step so darn hard.

Here’s the deal: it doesn’t exist.

I hope you know: there IS no perfect presentation. Aside from the fact that most presentations are full of potential and actual foibles - the tech doesn’t work exactly right, someone asks you a tough question you weren’t expecting, the air conditioner’s really loud, your mic is uncomfortable and distracting you, the projector’s color settings are off and your slides look weird, the light’s coming in from the windows at just the wrong angle making it hard to see your video, they came in early, they came in late, you got lost, you ate something weird, the person who spoke before you was a real BORE and you’re left to deal with the aftermath…

I could go on. :)

So, can we just put that word out of our vocabulary, please?

It’s live theater

And that’s what makes speaking so incredibly powerful, engaging, interesting - and yes - potentially scary.

But IF we can embrace our humanity in this live theater experience!

If we can be fully present, accepting what is - embody our content - and worry less about being perfect and more about being CONNECTED?… well, then we can create presentation magic.

Because, honestly -  if everything goes off without a hitch - it’s “perfect" - it’s… un-touchable. Missing the ‘real.’ It’s hard to connect with. It makes the audience feel… well, like they’re watching a movie rather than a real, live, human being up there.

Movies are great.

But they pale in comparison to watching someone bravely step into a space to commune with an audience because they feel compelled to SPEAK. Because you have something to SAY, and you’re willing to risk to say it.

So -

As I look to you in our practice and say - Ok, go for it. Whenever you’re ready. 

Know that I don’t mean - “when you’re perfect”

  • I mean… when you can courageously START… and you’re willing to face whatever it is that’s in front of you.
  • Know that you are doing something profound, and important - and your bravery is inspiring.

And that I’m here for you, cheering you on the entire way.


If we can worry less about perfection, and more about connection - that’s when we can create presentation magic!
— Sally Koering Zimney on This Moved Me

Links & Resources

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