Memorable or Perfect?

My first TV news anchor reel wasn’t great, but at the time I thought it was perfect. Perfectly written, perfectly edited and perfectly memorized. Yes, that was the problem– perfectly memorized. We didn’t have a teleprompter in CNN’s Chicago bureau, so I had to memorize a three minute anchor segment. I wasn’t sure what lines our editor would cover with video, so I memorized the whole thing. And it showed. I sounded like a robot. I lacked spontaneity. I was blah. In sharp contrast, I recently misspoke while moderating an early morning panel discussion. I said the opposite of what I meant while ad libbing an introduction of one of the panelists. She quickly corrected me, and I laughed. I explained that I wasn’t a morning person– that my synapses didn’t start firing on all cylinders until the noon hour. Everyone laughed and I went on with the introductions. After the event, several people came up to me and told me what a great job I did. Was I perfect? No. But I was charismatic and spontaneous. I listened to what the panelists said and I followed up. I steered the conversation, so the audience could learn as much as possible from these talented panelists. In short, I was memorable. Today– 20 years after my first anchor reel– I know that when my choices are memorable or perfect, memorable beats perfection every time. More Blogs If you’d d like to read more tips, check out our other presentation skills blogs. Coaching If you’re ready to seize the day and would like to schedule a presentation skills coaching session, please contact us. We would be delighted to customize a program that fits your exact needs. Ways to Work With Us While we are based in Chicago, we often travel to both coasts to work with executives. We also offer online coaching for those who prefer to work with us remotely.

Coaching You To Be On Message…. On-Air, In-Person and Online.”