Permission to Speak

“I’m not very good at public Speaking, so please bare with me”

How often have you heard a speaker open with this line? Unfortunately it is all too common.

Why is it used?

People use this line as a fall back position, just in case they don’t meet the expectations they think the audience has. They use it to give themselves permission to give a presentation that is less than it could be. They use it so at the end of their presentation they can say, ‘I told you I was not very good at public speaking!’

This type of opening statement is the worst way you can open a presentation. Despite the speakers desire to use it to build a connection with the audience, it prepares the audience to feel sorry for the speaker, and draws their attention to any mistakes they may make. At best it makes the speaker look amateurish; at worst it make the speaker look foolish.

The speaker who opens with this type of line has not given them-self permission to shine. They have not given them-self permission to share their message with those that need it and they have not given them-self permission to have an impact with their audience. Is it any wonder that they don’t give a great presentation?

Before your next speaking event – even if it is just a team meeting – give yourself permission to deliver a great presentation. This does not have to be standing in-front of the room – it can be just from your seat. But give yourself the permission deliver your message in a way that makes a difference. Give yourself permission to share your message in a way that will make a difference to your audience. The benefit will be two fold. Firstly, this will reduce your nervousness amazingly. Once you have permission to perform nervousness will disappear.

Secondly, the audience will be able to benefit from your message. If you have been asked to present some information you obviously have something of value to share. By giving yourself permission to present it, your audience will benefit from your message … and when we speak, isn’t that what you are trying to achieve?

‘Thil next time,


Darren Fleming

Just Published Speak Motivate and Lead: How Real Leaders inspire others to follow

Posted in nervousness, public speaking, Public Speaking books, public speaking humour, public speaking tips, Sales Presentations, Understanding your audience

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  • Kelvin Kao

    I think it might still work if you deliver this line in a tongue-in-cheek manner. But yeah, it’s true. Sometimes I sort of roll my eyes when everyone is using that same line.

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