Friday, March 19, 2010

Just be yourself (act naturally)?

Yet another half-truth about speaking is the common advice to just act naturally. In an often referenced article on How To Conquer Public Speaking Fear Morton C. Orman says to:

“Just go out there, armed with a little knowledge and a few key points, and be yourself.”

Well, which self would you like to see: best or worst, relaxed or scared, et cetera? Laura Bergells discussed how this advice can be confusing in a post titled Just who do you think you are? which she referred to on March 12th in another post asking Be Yourself? Why not be someone else?. Hopefully you will show your best side, once you figure out what it is.

Who we are changes over time as well. In his song Pacing the Cage Bruce Cockburn remarked that:

“I’ve proven who I am so many times
The magnetic strip’s worn thin

And each time I was someone else

And everyone was taken in”

Say the phrase “act naturally” and some baby boomers will recall a popular song with that title. There is a version by the Beatles, which has the lead sung by Ringo Starr.

1 comment:

Laura said...

I remember a line from "My So Called Life", where Claire Danes' character vents that people keep telling her to be herself, as if her "self" was a toaster or something.

Recalling this teenage angst makes me smile. Why be yourself, when you can be a toaster or something?

Thanks for the mention, man.