For lack of a better image, I demonstrated The Three Demons—Do You
Like Me?, Show Me the Money and
I Can Wing It—by requesting that
three volunteers stand in front of me
onstage, blocking me from my audience.
I explained that although the demons
are not visible, they are standing right
in front of you when you are speaking,
blocking your power and energy as
effectively as my volunteers were blocking mine during the demonstration.
To the audience’s untrained eye, the
speaker with one (or all) of the demons
will be competent, but just not connect
that powerfully—they will seem
removed, seem to be performing and
appear to not genuinely care.
Many speakers think
that their God-given,
ability licenses them to
chat with the audience
as they deemed fit or
Do You Like Me?
Speakers exercising the Do You Like Me?
demon work in the grey area in the middle of the pack. Not able to risk working
at the edge—taking chances, pushing
people with the truth—the Do You Like
Me? folks can work competently but,
well, are boring. The need for approval
can lead to play-acting and flamboyancy
at times (for attention, create an impact)
but without depth. Most of their program is about the speaker, even though
there is some conscious attempt to add a
few “we’s” and “you’s” to the mix.
The Script: Do You Like Me?
“I feel like an imposter sometimes. If
you knew how unequipped I was for
this, I would be terribly embarrassed. I
wonder if I measure up? Please approve
of me, pay attention to me. I hate pausing, too much silence, I don’t know
what you’re thinking [about me]. How
do I look? No, I am not sure what I
really speak about; what would sound
good to say? If I add these statistics to
my program they will find me clever.
Oh, please give me a standing ovation,
oh please. How can I maneuver one?”
I Can Wing It
I Can Wing It is the most common
demon. Many speakers think that their
God-given, natural speaking ability
licenses them to chat with the audience
as they deemed fit or divinely inspired.
Sometimes they scribble out bullet
points on cards or use PowerPoint slides
as cue cards, but few ever script or
rehearse their programs—because they
think they don’t need to.
The Script: I Can Wing It
“I’m so good that I don’t need to write
my script out; it just comes to me. I’m
pretty articulate. My case is different;
I’m a natural. I am GOOD.”
Show Me the Money
We all hope for an energy exchange
between money and talent, but the
Show Me the Money demon can grow
to dominate our attitude and thinking.
The speaker with this demon comes off
as perfunctory, distant and speeds
through his program as fast as possible
(the sooner to get to the book table).
The Script: Show Me the Money
“I wonder if the planner has my check.
I’ll put life-size images of my book on
the screen and leave them there. I wonder if there’s anyone who can give me
business in this group? I wonder. No I
won’t speak there, there are no meeting
planners in the group. I will cleverly
interject the consulting I do. Yes, you
will pay for my latte in the airport.”
When Demons Puncture
The three demons described here are
based on pride, and when attacked or
punctured, they exude shame, the evil
twin of pride. At Marco Island, upon
hearing feedback, many of our speakers
were ashamed of themselves and their
work, and began to make excuses that
were, in reality, attempts to help them
restore their pride:
“I was cut off, given no warning
before being called up.”
“If I had given the whole keynote, you
would have thought me brilliant.”
“I wasn’t doing my regular stuff—my
mike was wrong, the lighting was
bad, I forgot to eat this morning, I
didn’t have enough sleep last night,
my pants were too tight, the room
was wrong for this type of work...”
Top artists and performers in every
industry are continually requesting feedback, seeking new ways of learning and
growing from evaluation. Since you are
reading this article, chances are that you
are one of them. Beyond the underlying
universal theme of how demons “sound,”
your reaction to feedback is based on
which demon has a hold of you.
The Reaction: Do You Like Me?
Evaluative feedback leads those who
suffer from the Do You Like Me?
demon to believe they are not “liked”
or “approved of,” and they are apt to
become deflated or depressed. Because
their sense of self is based on pleasing
others and gaining approval they feel
hopeless and discouraged.
The Reaction: I Can Wing It
The arrogance of the I Can Wing It
group protects them from what they
would perceive as negative feedback.
They will dismiss feedback or coaching
as meaningless and irrelevant. But if