It almost seems contradictory to have a section about finding your personal niche immediately followed by how different you may appear on stage. Let me explain. My wife watched some of my speeches and videos in disbelief and commented how different I was on stage. I was different on stage, to some extent, for many reasons. My confidence level had been rising, and I was developing an emerging personality comfortable enough at a podium to send strong messages. All of this is much different from sitting around the dinner table chatting. The stage me is still the “real” me; I am not being an actor up on stage. I couldn’t be acting and still genuinely believe that my message would effectively relate and connect with the audience.
As my confidence continued to soar, I began to reconnect the stage me with the off-stage me. I’m sure I’ve narrowed the gap a little, but there will still most likely be differences. The important point is that it is still me up there. If you remember, I am typically introverted naturally, so I had to work hard on my stage presence to ensure I had the right impact. When I first videotaped myself, I had to ask, “Is that really me?” The answer was always yes. When I received feedback that I looked different on stage or on camera, I was all right with that. It is always fun trying different material and in some cases pushing the limits of my personality, to meet audience needs. You need to be comfortable knowing that there may be a different stage you, and feel good about the fact that that can still be the real you.
Thomas B. Dowd III’s books available in softcover, eBook, and audiobook (From Fear to Success only):
- Down the Chute: A Toboggan Tale (children’s book)
- Now What? The Ultimate Graduation Gift for Professional Success
- Time Management Manifesto: Expert Strategies to Create an Effective Work/Life Balance
- Displacement Day: When My Job was Looking for a Job…A Reference Guide to Finding Work
- The Transformation of a Doubting Thomas: Growing from a Cynic to a Professional in the Corporate World
- From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide received the Gold Medal at the 2013 Axiom Business Book Awards in Business Reference
- The Unofficial Guide to Fatherhood