What does it really mean to communicate authentically?
Have you ever been told “Just be your authentic self, and you’ll be fine?”
What does it even mean? The word ‘authentic’ has become so overused that it’s starting to lose its real context and value.
Let’s look at the definition of “Authentic”
Of undisputed origin and not a copy; genuine.
Authenticity is about showing your audience your true self; through the words you use, your body language and your voice. Once you can show your audience your true self, you have connection with them and THAT is what being authentic is about.
Have you ever given a business presentation that you’ve spent weeks, if not months rehearsing? You’re word for word perfect. You even know what gestures you’re going to do at what point in the speech. You feel so ready for the big day. This is your moment.
You stand up in front of your audience and wait for confirmation that it was all worth it.
But then nothing happens.
No standing ovation. No massive applause (or excited whistling) and NO NEW BUSINESS.
Here’s what happens when you give a speech or presentation that’s over-rehearsed: people get uncomfortable. They don’t like you and they aren’t sure why.
Your audience aren’t looking for perfection. They’re looking for connection.
Establishing a personal connection
I’ve talked about how storytelling is the most powerful technique to get your message across. Sharing from personal experience allows you to emotionally connect with your audience, but you need to be in command of your story and be able to share what it means and why it matters.
Your audience don’t just want to hear your story, they want to re-live and experience it with you, so find ways to bring it to life and make them be a part it as you’re re-telling it.
Your gestures, pitch, volume, expressions, movement and every part of your being needs to be congruent with your words, your story and your message.
Want to know how to be truly authentic? Enrol on my Intro course “The Art of Persuasive Speaking in Global Business” to learn how to tell a great story truly authentically.