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During a 2016 speech at a marketing conference I shared the story of a football coach who told me to appear confident even if I wasn’t. If other players didn’t think I was confident of my call as a center, they may lose trust. A valid concern.
After I shared that story somebody said: “it sounded like you were saying to fake it until you make it.”
Thanks for the playback and feedback but that’s not what I’m saying at all, was my answer.
First of though, let’s talk about “faking it.” Clearly, it has a negative ring to it. But even the best of us sometimes wonder if we are “faking it.” Sometimes it’s because we are surprised at the success we’ve had. Sometimes it’s because we don’t feel that confident at all.
One person said to me how confident I am speaking to hundreds. And while I may appear confident, speaking to (and entertaining) a few hundred people during a keynote it is actually quite nerve-wrecking to me.
- Does anyone care? (Answer: Yes.)
- Do we have the right answer? (There likely are more than one.)
- Will people love me? (Probably not everyone.)
Trying to fake it, feels inauthentic to me and I likely couldn’t do that. But I can grow into it. And so can you.
How did I learn to speak in front of hundreds?
- Knowing what I have to share
- By visualizing how great it will go
- Enjoying it
- Growing every time
I often learn several new things when I speak. Sometimes people ask new questions or share new problems. It’s a learning experience for me, too.
Together we can grow into a more authentic conversation and community. If we want to and make up our mind to do just that. We don’t have to fake it, but we may have to grow into it.