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You're Not Perfect, And Neither Am I.


There's a grocery store in San Francisco that sells oddly shaped, colored, and sized produce, as well as eggs, dairy, and pantry other items, that at first glance seem...a little...well...odd, but sold at affordable prices. This company is called Imperfect Foods, and their mission:

"Eliminate food waste and build a better food system for everyone. If food can be

saved, we will save it. With every bite into a misshapen apple, short piece of pasta, or

over-sized egg we can shape our world for the better. We’re hungry for change and

eager to reduce waste on the farm, at the store, and in the home."

Their motto is simple and direct, and therefore effective: since 2015, 139 million pounds of food saved; 400,000 customers, 1500 employees, serving 38 states in 100% recycled packaging.

In 2014 the ugly food concept was becoming a movement. Intermarché, a French supermarket chain, was at this forefront and decided to champion their “inglorious fruits & vegetables” and guide shoppers to see the inner beauty in disfigured and odd produce. In their 2014 report on marketing trends, advertising firm J. Walter Thompson captured this interest, “Imperfection and even outright ugliness—the quirky, the messy, and the flawed—are taking on new appeal in a world that’s become neatly polished and curated.”

There is nothing wrong with imperfection. In fact, you can thrive from it. One of my clients, Todd Caponi, is a business innovator and author of The Transparency Sale. He says, “When we are transparent about our flaws, we draw people in, we build trust, and we speed sales cycles.” Through extensive sales experience, and research on human behavior, Caponi demonstrates how 5 star businesses/products are often passed over for the 4.2 rated service.

As a speaker, you're not perfect, and as a speaking coach, neither am I, and I can prove the latter. On the home page of my website, I feature a welcome video to give folks a sense of who I am and what I do. I have noted several flaws in my appearance and delivery:

  • Because of filming logistics, I was not able to wear my glasses, which I wear pretty much all the time while awake. So, as a first impression/introduction to most people, I am concerned that this may be misleading, as glasses can change your look considerably.

  • Related to the first bullet point, I believe without my glasses, some of the asymmetry of my face is more noticeable: I seem to have more flexibility and movement with the left side of my mouth/face, my right ear sticks out further than my left, and my left nostril is lower than my right.

  • I notice clutter in the background of some shots that I wish was removed

  • I may have overused hand gestures

  • When I get excited about a concept, I tend to talk too fast and repeat the word "Right" in question form.

Point is, perfection is a myth, and our differences, our peccadillos (a nod to a poignant scene from Good Will Hunting), makes us who we are, and our stories unique. Embrace your imperfections and be open to working with/through them.

Stay tuned for more posts. Please sign up for this blog, which gives you news and information for all things speaking, performing, and storytelling at https://www.myspeakingcoach.com/contact.

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Paul D. Kreiter M.Ed.

Speaking Coach * Creative Services

617.564.0322