Vulnerability in Public Speaking – Brené Brown

Brene Brown

When it comes to presenting I’ve always believed that stories are how we best learn, understand, visualize and remember information. That is probably why I absolutely love the idea suggested by Brené Brown that “Stories are Data with a Soul”

What a wonderful thought

Her TED talk is a few years old now but it’s still one of my favourites largely because it’s honest, engaging and not only speaks about the power of vulnerability but demonstrates it so beautifully.

At Mindful Presenter we don’t believe that the key to high impact presenting and public speaking revolves around being a slick and highly polished presenter.

The brilliant TED talk, ‘The power of vulnerability’ by Brené Brown demonstrates the premise that we are all here to ‘connect’ and feel that sense of ‘connection’. It challenges the increasingly popular belief that the route to living our best life is through the principle of ‘control and predict’. Brené Brown asserts that perhaps the real key to connecting is vulnerability.

As the founder of Mindful Presenter I created the business to help people to find and value their voice in the complete belief that ‘connecting is everything’.

We started with that strap line and it’s those very words that still have us leaping out of bed every morning.

When it comes to Mindful Presenting we believe as Brené Brown suggests that all speakers need:

‘The courage to be imperfect’

‘The compassion to be kind to themselves first and then others’

 ‘To be willing to let go of who you think you should be to be able to connect.’

In speaking about how important these characteristics are in helping us to truly connect with others she then suggests that the people who make that human connection ‘fully embrace vulnerability’.

‘They believed that what made them vulnerable made them beautiful.’

Of course Brené  is talking about life in general and all aspects of life, however, this is a tenet that can and is transforming the way we present to each other in business and speak in public.

Just imagine what your next management meeting would look, sound and feel like if everyone thought, spoke and behaved with:

‘The courage to be imperfect’

‘The compassion to be kind to themselves first and then others’

‘‘To be willing to let go of who you think you should be to be able to connect.’

If you need an example of how to present in this way then you need look no further than this TED Talk.

With almost 30 million views on TED there is great deal to learn to not only better understand and consider humanity but to truly connect with others each time we speak.

Here are just few of the gems we can each take from this talk in learning how she has connected with millions of people all over the world.

She has a brilliant opening

She tell great stories

She uses humour

She is conversational

She asks questions

She pauses beautifully

She closes powerfully

‘Let ourselves be seen, deeply seen. To love with our whole hearts even though there is no guarantee… to practice gratitude and joy in those moments of terror…to believe that we are enough.’’

A powerful, thought provoking and deeply engaging 20 minute talk all wrapped up in authenticity and vulnerability.

If you aren’t one of the 30 million people who have already watched it then watch it here now.

I really hope you enjoyed this post. If you did, please feel free to share it through your preferred social media channels below and subscribe to our mailing list so you won’t miss any future posts.

If this article has inspired you to learn a little more about how effective your presentation skills are you may want to take a look at our presentation training and presentation coaching pages to see how we may be able to help you. You will also find a great deal of really helpful ‘free’ information in our Learning Centre.

Image: Courtesy of



Share this article

Leave a comment

Download our Free Guide

Sign up for our newsletter and download your free guide to authentic public speaking.

When you sign up, you’ll get a link to our free guide, plus helpful public speaking articles posted on our site. You can unsubscribe at any time.