Every time I receive feedback after a presentation, I feel aggressed.
Especially since I never ask for it. But people keep coming to me, feeling the arduous need to tell me how my presentation could be better, insisting on the flaws and mistakes they observed, making accurate lists of what disturbed them.
In time, I realized that all these “critical saviours” only refer to the form, not the content. How I look down when I talk, how I use vulgar words, how I don’t have a structure or a Powerpoint presentation behind, etc.
Sometimes, complete strangers come to me, full of angst: “very interesting what you had to say, but I would like to give you some feedback on the way you talked”. I can reject those easily: “Thank you, I’m not interested in what you believe of my style, I would like to know whether you’re going to do something practical from today onwards, inspired by my talk. Or not.” Usually, they’re speechless and frustrated as I didn’t let them “constructively” criticize me, so they leave mumbling. Probably, a lot of compliments, I say to myself. I know, I’m a complete optimist 🙂
Other times, it’s close people that tend to do that, so I can’t reject them with ease, and they hurt me.
[ut_highlight color=”#ff6e00″]That’s why I want to clarify the topic of “my presentations” once and for all:[/ut_highlight]
1. One of my main principles is authenticity. I prefer to watch a perfectly flawed talk, in matters of technique, but full of emotion and authentic, than one that is worked and worked, and perfectly delivered, but with no feeling to it. Content is a lot more important than form, to me. If what you’re saying is what you’re daily living, I don’t care how you say it. “Public speaking” trainers will now jump at me, saying that form is just as important, how you do it matters just as much as what you’re saying. In a world of trained liars, I prefer raw and sincere people, who live what they tell.
2. My models are presenters such as Gary Vaynerchuk or Zach Klein, passionate about their subjects, living and doing what they’re presenting anyway. You may like or dislike this type. If you don’t like it, it’s your right, but please don’t come to my talks then. And if you do come, please don’t give me feedback. I don’t want to perfect the form of my presentation. I want to perfect the way I live my life, that’s all.
3. Unasked for advice is a form of hidden emotional aggression. If you don’t understand or consider otherwise, please go to a good psychologist and thoroughly talk to him/her. One day you’ll thank me, even for just that.
4. No matter what you do or how you do it, there will always be a 5 to 10% of the people there who will be unsatisfied. Maybe they’re already unhappy at the time of the presentation, maybe they’re suffering a hidden depression for years, maybe they had an over-critical family environment and they internalized it, anyway, their problems. I don’t want everybody to like me, moreover, I’m not interested in those who don’t like me. It’s their right, but I’m not interested in their reasons, nor do I want to change for them to like me. If you don’t like me or what I say, please don’t waste even a second for me, I don’t deserve your precious time to correct, save or perfect me. Find the ones you do like and enjoy them.
5. If you come to my presentations and you don’t like it, please join me on the scene and do give a talk as you consider fit. You read earlier that I like imperfect and authentic speeches, so you have all the chances to receive a lot of applause from me. But I don’t need critics in my life, the ones that don’t do anything on their own, just analyze others.
6. In short:
[ut_highlight color=”#ff6e00″]- I’m not interested in feedback on form, just content.
– I’m not interested in presentation techniques, just in authentic and passionate people.
– I’m not interested why you like or don’t like me, I just want to know what you’re willing to do with your life from now on.
– I don’t need to be better in my talks, I want to be better in the way I live my life, every day.[/ut_highlight]
Otherwise, all good and I’m still waiting for you (if you have the courage) at my presentations and workshops 🙂