I recently opened a big speech with 5 pieces of self-deprecating information.
Nope. Self-deprecation and being honest about your list of imperfections can actually help build trust and credibility. It does not matter if you speak on stage, like me or not. You can use this strategy in a new biz presentations, recruiting a business partners and or team member.
Here’s how it worked.
1) It showed my audience that I’m willing to break rules and I’m not perfect. Prior to my flaw dump, the sponsor read my bio which is filled with great milestones. As I entered the stage, I threw out the question, “What’s up with all these speaker intros, as preachers of truth and messengers of real world best practices, and then all you here is half their story?”
2) This common ground served as a trust builder. Many in the group had some of the same flaws as I did. We connected.
3) This off the wall content added instant humor, which is often the key to message transfer with an audience, especially at 7:30 AM.
4) I flipped the most dramatic flaw (the business in the toilet one) into PROOF that, bouncing back is reachable, no matter how low your situation is and because of that unfortunate experience, I am 330% smarter. The audience knew my program content and knowledge was not academic BS, but true, authentic battlefield insight.
I was amazed at how many people came up to me afterwards and thanked my for my honesty and courage.
So what so wrong with you? And how can you make it work for you too?