We all want that perfect career, that perfect relationship (mine would be with Benedict Cumberbatch OR Justin Timberlake but people are telling me those ships may have sailed), and of course to give a perfect presentation!
But there’s a huge difference between working towards perfection, and being held captive by perfectionism. And the latter can actually hurt your presentations and business.
I always heard “perfection is the enemy of execution,” which I strongly believe. What’s interesting is when you do a google search with the words “perfection is the enemy of…” there are SO many more words that come up including: good, done, and innovation. So why do we keep holding ourselves back with this idea of wanting to be perfect??
Before working with me clients will often say they get frustrated that their performance wasn’t “perfect.” I like to ask, “Well, why does it need to be perfect?”
And H*LY HELL that’s when the floodgates open.
“If I’m not PERFECT, I’m not going to be taken seriously!”
“If I’m not PERFECT, people are going to think I’m some kind of amateur!”
“If I’m not PERFECT, nobody will buy from me and I’m going to go broke and move back in with my parents and be alone until the end of time!”
Whoa, whoa, whoa! Caalllmmmm down now!
This is a perfect example of what’s called extreme thinking.
It’s like when people want to get healthy and right off the bat start drinking green juices and spend 10 hours a day in the gym until they get burnt out! You don’t need to be extreme so don’t let your brain trick you! Find the deeper meaning behind why you feel the need to be perfect and set yourself free from it! Celebrate progress instead of being hard on yourself for not being “perfect.”
You don’t need to be 100% flawless in order to get your message across and make a killer presentation.
Even the holy grail of presenters Steve Job had moments that didn’t go as planned on stage. (Check out the video above)
But does anybody truly remember them? No! We still seem him as the gold standard.
The most important part of your presentation is the passion you have for your message, your intention. Whether it’s a live crowd or your webcam, your audience is going to feel that connection. At the end of the day if your message comes across, nobody (not even you!) will really remember if you stumbled on a word or two.
It’s ok to not be perfect. We should always strive to do our best, but at the end of the day an absolutely perfect presentation should never be the goal. It should always be to have a connected presentation. I don’t even know what the definition of a “perfect,” presentation would be! Get that out of your head!
Give yourself permission to not be 100% perfect. Unless you’re an android, then yes you should be 100% perfect otherwise why are you here!? For us humans, relax and focus on what’s important -your message.