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Are You Faking It?
Imposter syndrome: a lurking doubt in your achievements and abilities. What if you’re actually not competent and no one’s noticed yet? Surely the truth will eventually come out. You’ll be humiliated, but ultimately relieved that you can stop this insane charade and take up an enticing new pastime, like rocking gently in a corner. Here’s the thing: you’re probably fine, and you deserve to feel fine about it. Let’s work through this.
There are many reasons we feel like imposters.
You Know This
One of the things we remind our presentation training clients is this: generally, you’re the person in the room with the most knowledge and the most useful insights about the topic you’re presenting on. You’re literally the expert for this session, and the people in the room are there to find out what it is you know. Your authority comes not from embodying some idea of what a ‘genuine’ expert looks like, but from your understanding of the material and your ability to clearly and concisely communicate it to your audience.
The opposite of an imposter is the genuine article. Authenticity: it’s a word thrown around a lot, and sometimes it’s hard to identify what it means in terms of how you communicate at work. There are things about our authentic selves that aren’t all that useful in a presentation situation: we don’t recommend describing the quantity of your nerve sweat or wearing your activewear to the big pitch or cracking the wine before you begin (unless you’re presenting a wine tasting, in which case, the Shiraz thanks). We do recommend the following:
At The Pickering Group, we can help you find your authentic voice, at its strongest and most effective. We love to see our clients gain confidence in their abilities and authority in their presenting. We all bring something different to the boardroom table, and those are our strengths, not our weaknesses. So let’s get real. Check out our training courses here, our many and varied advice articles here.
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