The “Butterfly Effect”

Small Business Canada

Most of the innovation we experience was formed in the flowerbed of wild and unconventional questions. In 1963, one such question was posed by MIT scientist, Edward Lorenz. “Does the flap of a butterfly’s wings in Brazil set off a tornado on Texas?”. We have come to know this as The Butterfly Effect. Question: What effect are your butterflies having? 

As a Public Speaking Coach, I commonly get asked, “how do I handle the butterflies in my belly before it’s my turn to speak?”  That all depends on how we see the butterflies. Are they negative, impeding and represent every embarrassing outcome that could unfold? Or, can we harness the nervous energy they generate to propel us forward to powerful performances?

Harnessing the very same nervous energy that seems to derail so many others, will cause them to fly in formation. A great technique that transforms nerves/butterflies into a formidable force, is naming them with all the reasons that drive us. Let me introduce you to my Personal Butterfly Airforce that carries me through anxious moments and overwhelming occasions… 

  • Business Growth
  • The development of my Audience
  • Building Relationships – Get that Repeat Invite
  • Trust / Faith
  • Family

Focusing on my sources of motivation has morphed nerves into powerful propulsion to perform in places and spaces when perhaps, the moment was even bigger than me. What about you? What motivates you? Is it the financial gain or the notoriety – or both? Is it a career promotion or to influence a private funder? The negative impact of a poor presentation could result in revenue loss, missed targets and distances you from your financial goals. It could delay production cycles and push your project to the back of the line because it was not passionately presented with positive energy.

Focusing on the negatives will cause nervous energy to manifest as poor body language, facial expressions and tonality. We can appear dishevelled, unorganized and it may seem as if we are unprepared. When we focus on the negative outcomes, it impacts the audience’s view of you and your message. Look, we’re supposed to get nervous – if you don’t, that means you don’t care! It’s how we harness it that matters. Positive conversion of nervous energy looks like passion, vibrancy and excitement. You appear fully engaged and genuinely interested in mutually beneficial outcomes. You will even be able to convert thoughts like ‘what if I mess up’ into ‘even if I mess up’, because you will have gained grace and allowances with your audience. 

When are you leading your next team meeting with decision-makers present? When is your next Keynote or big sales pitch? Name your beautiful and benevolent butterflies and they’ll provide powerful passion turning your presentations into monumental and memorable moments!

Question: What effect are your butterflies having?


Shiraz Siddique has been actively training, consulting and delivering keynotes for more than 20 years in both the Academic and Corporate world. His passionate and innovative delivery style allows him to navigate past the reality that most people want to learn but do not enjoy the traditional process of learning. Through easy to apply techniques and strategies, he shows Leaders and Salespeople how to persuasively present their product/service/ideas.  


Frustrated after seeing poor ideas get adopted over far superior strategies, Leverage Consulting was founded on one question, “Why doesn’t the best idea always win?” That led to formulating a response to another question, “Why do my prospects consistently select us over the competition?”

Through group seminars and hands-on workshops, we work with Leaders, Salespeople and Entrepreneurs to grow their persuasion and influence to win more every time they connect with decision-makers.  We guide our clients through the process of Calculating, Calibrating and Clearly Communicating their product, service or idea. 

Our sessions are deliberately designed to challenge a participant’s thinking.  This ensures our #1 priority – the learning experience is connected, relevant and enjoyable. We go beyond building successful training programs – we believe in building successful people. Ensure your idea wins next time you have a team meeting or client presentation.

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