Listen for the script
when, not if, your
program doesn’t go
as well as you think
it should have, or
you receive feedback
you don’t like.
they did allow it in, they would most
likely become angry, self-righteous and
annoyed. How dare that person? What
does he know?
The Reaction: Show Me the Money
The Show Me the Money crowd most
often dismisses feedback, finding it
irrelevant. They are marked by little or
no emotional involvement in the
process of constructive evaluation.
Those afflicted with the Show Me the
Money demon often dismiss it by mentioning that people love their programs
and that audience members often
gushed afterwards (but maybe they
didn’t know that there are some in
every audience who love the stage
connection, no matter what).
Do you experience any of these reactions? The demons can emerge in all of
us, in various sizes and at various times
throughout our careers. Listen for the
script when, not if, your program
doesn’t go as well as you think it should
have, or you receive feedback you don’t
like. Get mad? Make excuses? Feel
ashamed? Get discouraged? Feel
depressed? Just know that these reactions are based in shame, the evil twin
of pride, and that your pride has been
punctured. Recognizing your reaction is
the first step toward changing it.
“I want them to remember what they
learned from me, not remember my
“I want my audience to own my content, not think I’m great.”
“I want them to be impressed by
themselves, and not with me.”
“I want people to feel good about
themselves because they have been
Robin Creasman knows that the
demons need to be destroyed before a
speaker can be a “rock star.” By that, he
means someone who stands out, gets
buzz, is fun to be with and is unforgettable. “Be intentional in all you do,”
Creasman says. “Craft your message
with your attendee in mind, and ask the
questions they will be thinking. ‘What
do you mean by that?’ ‘Why is that
important to me?’ ‘How can I apply
this to my life?’ ‘What do I do now?’”
After you release your demons,
nothing in the universe can block
you from your goals and becoming
the great speaker you are meant to be.
Dr. Janet Lapp, PhD, CSP, CPAE,
pushes people to crank it up, push it
out, think bigger and live at the edge,
whether in customer experience, leadership or personal performance. A psychologist by training, she has been
spreading a message of optimism and
courage from Russia to Argentina for
more than 20 years as a professional
speaker. A pilot and flight instructor,
she has been struck by lightening in
Botswana, force landed in Guatemala
and imprisoned for landing in
Mozambique. She believes that it’s
never too late, nothing is impossible
and the only color in life is around the
edges. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You asked for them. Here you are,
facing them down. Your evaluations.
If you are working from, gasp, your
ego (pride), you will (choose one):
a Not ask for evaluations since you
don’t need them.
b Ask for them, but ignore them.
Ask for them, and hold your breath
c while furtively rushing through
searching for “positives.”
d Ignore and dismiss the negatives,
because what do they know?
e Attach yourself to the one “
negative,” obsess on it, begin to
doubt yourself and feel shame.
Rather than belabor the meaning
behind the above, let’s define what is
healthy. Evaluations are neither positive
nor negative, they are just feedback.
They are perceptions of you. They are
gifts to you. Coaching without the cost.
Yes, they reflect the observer, but they
are, nonetheless, observations of you.
The healthy speaker will evaluate
what it was in his or her delivery that
provoked the reaction, own it, learn from
it and try out an alternative next time.
Look for common threads in your
evaluations and repetitions. Are you
rated high on style and lower on
content? Well, do something about it!
Up your content and value.
Do you hear that you flitted from topic
to topic and seemed disorganized at
times? Could that be true? Great! You
learned something. Stop letting the
demon of pride block you from taking in
feedback. Ask for it, receive it, own it and
move forward. —Janet Lapp