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Relying on Your Dog? Time to Get Another Opinion

April 19    |    Bob Sherwin

We all need feedback to get a clear, unbiased view of our own performance.
So as you head into your next big presentation, don’t overestimate or underestimate how prepared you really are.

Be sure to gather some confirming facts as part of your preparation. Follow Ann Landers’ thoughtful advice . . .

“Don’t accept your dog’s admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful.”

OK, it’s the night before your big presentation. You need some immediate feedback, but it sounds like your dog is off the list. Where do you go next?

Even before Fido, your first tendency may have been to self-assess your own preparedness. Time to try it out and see how it looks. Now, where’s my mirror and tape recorder? 

As it turns out, self-assessments are another not-so-hot choice of limited value.

Cornell psychology professors David Dunning and Justin Krueger made some interesting observations about how we measure ourselves in their 1999 paper, Unskilled and Unaware of It:  How Difficulties in Recognizing One’s Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessment. 

Their research showed that the less competent someone is in a particular skill area, the more likely they are to overestimate their ability and performance.

Conversely, the more competent an individual is at a particular skill the more likely they are to underestimate their ability and performance.

OK, the dog’s out. Your self-assessment...out. So now where do you go to solve this problem and get some solid, unbiased communications feedback during your preparation?

Mandel has a great answer.

Take just a few minutes to download the Orai App to your phone. 

A personal communications coach and reinforcement tool, Orai combines the latest in artificial intelligence with Mandel’s world-class presentation skills content and expertise. It gives you an easy way to practice and get instant feedback on key communication skills, like:

  • Powerful Pausing
  • Reducing Filler Words
  • Slowing the Pace
  • Speaking With Clarity
  • Pumping Up the Energy

With the Orai App, you’ll get a lot more feedback than just a tail wag (or reflection in a mirror). 

Along with powerful skills assessment tools, you’ll find bite-sized practice exercises and guided lessons to help you prepare.

The Dunning and Krueger paper includes a fitting quote from Thomas Jefferson on the need for feedback:

“He who knows best, best knows how little he knows.”
I agree.

You can read more about the Orai App and download it here. 


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