An impostor the world craves listening to

An impostor the world craves listening to

Your boss asked you to speak, to present on stage. You grabbed it, didn’t want to miss out on an opportunity. Maybe this would lead to the next promotion, you never know.

But that was last week.

Now you think that you have nothing good to say, you think that you’re an impostor, everything that you’ve done up until this point is just because of luck. Whoops, they are going to find out soon, you think.

To prep, you watch other people speaking. You think that you can speak about the topic more eloquently, maybe more thorough and clearer. You know what questions everyone has in their minds, and in this talk, you’re watching, the presenter just doesn’t get it.

But as you try to put your thoughts together, structure it together, answer those audience questions you thought you knew well, the bridges collapse and now you’re in the middle of an island. Worse, it’s a no man’s land.

Where you don’t know who you are anymore, and not sure why these people should be listening to your presentation tomorrow.

So you gave up, you stuff your slides with bullet points to guarantee your delivery (noooo!). After all, if you’ve just read from the slides for an hour, no one can blame you. Your boss can’t fire you, you did the work!

But you know deep down inside, you have much more to say, you can help more people, but you’re at lost on how to start, how to practice the presentation, how to practice to be a better you?

If you’ve felt this before? Then welcome to the gang, I’ve felt like an impostor every minute of my life. You’re not alone. But just by being able to access the internet, you are way ahead than everybody else on this planet. And your experience, your stories, your insight matters.

Speak your mind. It may help one other person, it may help a large group of people, or it may just save a life.
Speak your mind, because you can definitely beat that fear of being misunderstood. Don’t let it paralyzed you.
Speak your mind, serve the world by not acting small, and everybody will listen closely.

Speak.

Do your worst. Just. Do.

Do your worst. Just. Do.

They say do your best. Whatever you do, do your best.

Everyone says it again and again, so it must be right. But what if I told you it’s misleading. The most important part of the phrase lies in the very first word.

 

Do.

 

Don’t just sit there. Do.

Refrain from thinking, or planning, or strategizing. Just. Do.

Do put up your hands for speaking up, do volunteer to speak at your local meetups, do practice your talk in front of a mirror.

 

In fact, doing your worst is better than doing your best because best implies perfection, but perfection is the enemy of progress. The enemy of doing.

If you start doing, I promise you those butterflies in your stomach will start to fly in formation. One by one.

 

What have you been putting off in favour of thinking?

Do you think grammar is the problem?

Do you think grammar is the problem?

Last week I was talking to a friend about his presentations, and I asked him what’s the next thing he’d like to work on to improve his talk.

“I think it’s my grammar. I need better grammar”, he said. English is not his first language.

“Better grammar to speak? But I can understand you just fine.”, I said.

He shook his head, he told the story of him nervously presenting his dissertation in front of his supervisors, and how much anxiety it caused him.

“Why grammar?”

He said he wanted to articulate himself better. Focusing on grammar allows him to do that.

 

“Really?”

 

Yesterday I had a Swedish lesson. I’ve tried so many times to learn it and I constantly failed. In the past, I’ve asked the teachers to focus more on grammar. I need to know that I’m saying the right things.

I don’t want to be misunderstood. I hate being misunderstood.

When people ask me how long I’ve been in Sweden, I either said four months or four years. It depends.

With this new teacher, I told her that I want to listen and speak, no need for much grammar lessons. I just want to speak Swedish in a safe environment, so I would speak knowing that I would be misunderstood.

 

Grammar is tricky, grammar is hard to master, but don’t let that distract you from working on your actual presentation.

Going through your own presentation, polishing the stories and structuring your thoughts is tougher. Because then you have to fix your own logic, your own mind.

And there are no rules of grammar to help guide you. You have to make those rules yourself.

And if you don’t fix it, your presentation won’t make sense to others, since it doesn’t make sense to you.

 

Don’t get distracted. It’s not grammar, my friend.