The New York Times business section is providing more advice that can be applied to public speaking. In the October 10 paper, Howard Schultz, chairman, president, and CEO of Starbucks, was asked for his advice to new CEOs.
He said that very few people coming into the job believe they’re qualified. Every time we speak in public, it’s a new situation. Very few of us believe we’re qualified, or have rehearsed enough for this new subject or that new audience.
So, his advice about insecurity? Use it as a strength, not a weakness. Let people see that you’re vulnerable, and you’re showing them that you’re human.
Translating that paraphrased statement for our needs: So what if you make a mistake or two? Steve Allen once said that a performer would have to fall off the stage into the bass drum before someone noticed. I’ll add that if you do fall off the stage into the bass drum, hitting the cymbals as you go, everyone in the audience will be thrilled that they were there to see it, and will buy more tickets with the hope that you’ll do it again.