I don’t know anyone – men, women, early career professionals, entrepreneurs, executives – who doesn’t struggle with being good enough.
Do you? (I’d like to meet them!)
For example, just last week I met with a client via Zoom video and listened as she explained the angst she felt going into a meeting with the C-level executives at her company.
It was her first time, she told me, and she needed some tools to calm herself down before she had to go into a meeting like that again.
“Tell me about the experience,” I said.
So she went into detail about how much she prepared, thought through every scenario, practiced, included humor to break up the dryness, arrived early to mingle a little bit before the formal meeting started.
“What was the result?” I asked.
“It was positive,” she told me. The executives agreed to her idea and asked her to present at a larger meeting in the next few weeks.
She had all the pieces. “So, what’s the real problem?” I asked.
The Real Problem
Turns out the real problem had nothing to do with the actual presentation. Instead it had to do with the misalignment of how she presented herself and how she felt about herself.
She suffered from an internal struggle of “not good enough” and needed to reconcile how she felt inside with what she presented on the outside.
I work with people – from early career to executive level – who tell me they…
- Don’t want to look foolish
- Are not charismatic like other people
- Want to appear thoughtful and not aggressive
- Don’t think their approach is valued
- Have less experience
- And on and on
The reality is, they are good enough.
And this concept has come up in the last couple of weeks in private coaching sessions, group workshops, my latest podcast episodes and in my own life.
Reconciling “good enough”
There is no quick fix or easy answer. Here are a few tools to get you started.
Talk to yourself right first. Some of my best presentations happen when the last thing I say to myself is, “Go out there and have some fun.” High stakes presentations – to the board, clients, prospects, at a conference – are nerve racking! How can you get your head in the game to boost your confidence and focus before a meeting or presentation?
Know & Own Your Value
You have certain qualities and skills that others may not have and that makes you valuable. My client mentioned above has a knack for analyzing things from all angles. This makes her strong at anticipating other people’s needs or resistance. She also appreciates humor and brought some of that into her presentation. There is great value in both. What value do you bring to the stage or table?
Time & Practice
Everyone wants a quick fix. But communication and presentation skills require a long term effort and work. Give it time and practice, try new things, make mistakes, figure out what works and what doesn’t. Are you in it for the long term?
You are good enough. If you want to be better, that’s great. That doesn’t mean you aren’t good enough right now.
Feel it. Own it. Present it.
Your voice matters. Keep shining.
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