One of my favorite newsletters if from John Kinde in his Humor Power
His celebrity Humor quote is…
“If we do everything right, if we do it with absolute certainty,
there’s still a 30% chance we’re going to get it wrong.”
His lead article is Strength is Weakness
Hope you enjoy it as much as I have. John is one of my Las Vegas friends; show partners, and helps me with my Patricia Fripp speaking schools.
Your strength is your weakness. And the opposite is true. Your
weakness is your strength.
Your strength is your weakness because you come to depend on it and
possibly fail to use and develop other important tools. If your
strength as a presenter is a high-energy style, you may have a
tendency to never use an under-stated style.
On the other hand, your weakness is your strength. It may well be
your secret weapon. Because of the contrast of your weaker skill
compared to your strength, it may have a magical power that may
surprise you. Just a touch of contrast may add power to your talk.
This power could come from a variety strength/weakness contrasts.
A speaker may rely on a strength of dynamic vocal variety, but
neglect developing the use of silence or the pause. Or a speaker
might be great with characters and accents, but not develop the
strength of the written/spoken word. Or a speaker may be so
humorous that he or she doesn’t tap into dramatic stories which
could emotionally grab the audience.
What is your strength? What is the flip-side of that strength that
you may be neglecting?
What are the thinking patterns that are responsible for these
1. My strength will carry the day. It seems counter-intuitive to
think that your strength could work against you. But when you
settle into your comfort zone, you think you’re settling into a
groove. You’re actually getting stuck in a rut and justifying why
you’re not expanding your horizons. Working on your weakness may
take you out of your comfort zone. But it also takes you into your
2. I’ll go with what’s worked in the past. I don’t need anything
but my strength. That’s a recipe for stagnation. In reality, your
presentations are screaming for variety. A speaker who relies on a
high-energy style OR a low-energy style, has presentations that are
begging for more.
3. Developing my weak areas doesn’t come naturally to me, it’s too
difficult. Actually it’s easier than you think. The key is that
you don’t need to develop a secondary skill set to the same level
of mastery as your default or primary skill. The new tool is not
the main course. It’s just the seasoning you add for variety. And
the key to variety is in the contrast. Today’s audiences demand
color, not black and white. They demand boldness AND softness.
Your talks need texture and depth. Expanding your presentation
skill set requires that you consider using techniques that you have
not yet developed or explored.
4. Good enough is good enough. With this approach, good enough
never gets better. And what’s good enough today isn’t good enough
for tomorrow. Mark Spitz’s seven gold-medal times, moved to the
future into the Michael Phelps Olympics, would not have won Spitz a
single place on the podium. Not even one Bronze Medal. The bar
has been dramatically raised in every area of life. What makes us
the best today, won’t cut it in the future. Speaking is no exception.
Don’t be left in the dust. Step out of your comfort zone and
explore adding the critical touch of variety into your next
Sign up for Humor Power
Patricia Fripp’s Speaking School, The Odd Couple, Lady and The Champs Speaking Conference can be viewed at: Hear Fripp Speak