TEDxDelft 2016 | Karin de Groot | Teaching people it is ok to say “um”

Karin de Groot talk“I have been on television, radio and stages for my entire working life; and it still petrifies me,” said Karin de Groot, presentation coach. As an experienced media figure, she has a message: disregard the rules, be spontaneous.

De Groot graduated from the Academy of Journalism in Tilburg. For the past 27 years, De Groot has been interviewing people, presenting on television and editing radio shows. Nowadays, she hosts a daily show of her own. She strived for perfection, and took lessons to drop her accent. After ten years, a famous Dutch talk show editor told her: “You are doing a perfect job, but you are not a human being.” Combining this lesson with her own experience, she decided to become a presentation coach herself.

Everyone knows the rules like not crossing your arms, keep hands out of your pockets, and don’t run around. Yet people like Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates and Jamie Oliver all break these so-called rules. The message they convey remains just as strong, and their audience is just as captivated.

“Perfection isn’t sticking to rules, it is discovering your own rules, your personal perfection!” said De Groot. Showing fragments of amazing TED talks, she proved that it is ok if you stutter, if your face turns red, if you don’t reach ‘perfection’. People should stop thinking about what they are saying, and instead simply: “Talk, don’t present.”