Thursday, November 29, 2007

Don't Undersell Yourself!

I got some valuable feedback from a client recently on my speaking style. And I’m wondering if it could help you, too.

“Don't undersell yourself,” I was told. Essentially, her message was: You have good information. Don't back into it. Don't waste time explaining it. Just get into it.

Like many entrepreneurs, I’m a naturally modest type. It’s a habit hard to break. And to an extent, modesty is good. It implies the opposite of bombast and hype, which every Canadian entrepreneur can spot a mile (okay, 1.6 kilometres) away.

But sometimes – especially when you are speaking or presenting as an expert – a little hype is expected. It shows confidence in yourself and your material. It gets people revved for your information.

Of course, you don't want to oversell your message. But underselling it can be problematic, too.

You should already have a 10-second introduction about you and what you do that highlights why you are an expert in your field. Follow the same formula in your presentations: let people know what your information can do for them, and why you're the best person to present it to them. Don't brag.
Just make the truth sparkle.

1 comment:

Adrian D. said...

I think you said it best when you said "just let the truth sparkle".

Public speaking is really a little bit Show Business anyway. The audience appreciates being entertained a little while they are being informed.

A little bit of "reckless enthusiasm" goes a long way.