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  • Ruth Dettman

Why I think it's a good idea to stay out of the spotlight

A star is born??

Back in senior school, I was so chuffed when I got into the school production. What role was I picked to play?

I had a starring role in........wait for it.......

the lighting department.

The thought of standing ON stage and being IN the spotlight made me a bit squeamish. But shining the spotlight on others was something I could do well and enjoyed.

The squeamish feeling that comes with being in the spotlight is familiar territory for many of my clients.

What sorts of things make them want to run for cover? They may need to make a case for a promotion, pitch a new project idea to their boss, or talk through a new service offering to a client.

What lies at the heart of these examples is being able to articulate your value add. For many people, that is a tough thing to do.

I do what I do!

Years ago, I would have had trouble talking about the value I added. If pressed, I would say, “I just do what I do!” Now, as a coach, I see the same struggles with my clients.

What can you do right now to articulate your value a tiny bit better? It starts with a change in focus. Think less about what you have to offer and think more about who you are trying to help or influence.

See the world through their eyes

A client was struggling to put words together to describe the value of a service offering to prospective clients.

Every time they had a go at writing it, it ended up sounding a bit like a company brochure that is quickly forgotten and dropped on a trade show floor!

The shift happened when they began to talk about the common pitfalls and blind spots that they were seeing in their clients’ industries.

They spoke enthusiastically about the many stories they had of helping clients through those difficulties. As they spoke, their value add came sharply into focus.

But even more importantly, they talked with energy and conviction because they believed in the value they added.

From squeamish to sparkling

How can you avoid the feeling of being in the spotlight with nothing to say?

Turn the spotlight away from you and towards the people you want to help or influence.

What is important to them? What are they trying to achieve? What obstacles do they face? What would make them look good in front of their bosses or clients?

Connections that shine

Looking at what you offer through the lens of others is a powerful way to build confidence in what you have to offer.

The more you do that, the more you will see that talking about your value add is less about you standing in the spotlight and more about helping others to shine.

Need to pitch something and feeling a bit squeamish? Drop me a line and we can talk about how that can happen in a coaching session with me


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