The Power of Being Authentic in Public Speaking

This blog post is #4 of series on “5 Steps to Fearless Speaking,” which include Confidence, Clarity, Authority, Authenticity, and Engagement. In Part 4, we explore Authenticity, what it is and is not, how important it is to your audience, and steps you can take so that you can be authentic in your presentations. There is power in being authentic in public speaking.

What is and is not authenticity?

Authenticity means being genuine and relatable at the same time. Never try to be perfect because no one can relate to it. You should allows yourself to be the real you. Authenticity is about being real and embracing one's unique personality, values, and beliefs. It's not about telling everyone what you think is going wrong. It means to speak from the heart and to deliver a message that is honest.

Why is authenticity in public speaking so important?

Authenticity is vital in public speaking. It builds trust and credibility and leads to meaningful connections and engagement. When you are authentic in your delivery, you connect on a deeper level. That connection causes your message to have a greater impact. Authenticity gets your audience involved and engaged.

Discover 5 ways you can be authentic in your public speaking:

Know Your Audience

#1: Know Your Audience

Take time and effort to understand your audience’s needs, desires, and expectations. Why? So that you can tailor your message to their interests and speak in a way that resonates with them. This approach makes you more relatable and engaging. Research your audience, their demographic, and what they want to get out of the event. This will help you to exceed their expectations. Remember to use language that the audience can understand and relate to. That’s a win for you and win for them. Learn more about how to analyze your audience here.

Be Yourself

#2: Be Yourself

Being yourself is essential to being authentic in public speaking. Trying to be someone you're not will only lead to a lack of credibility and a disconnect from your audience. Instead, be true to yourself, and let your personality shine through. Your audience wants to hear from you, not a manufactured version of you. This does not mean that you should not try to improve your speaking skills by any means. Your speaking skills will improve with practice and preparation.  Still, you should always let your unique brilliance come through.


#3: Share Stories & Anecdotes

Storytelling is a powerful tool for public speaking, and it is an effective way to be authentic. Share yours or other's personal experiences, struggles, and triumphs. Sharing personal stories and anecdotes have 2 benefits. First, stories help your audience relate to you. Secondly, they also make your message more powerful and impactful. We relate to one another's experiences of survival, struggle, triumph, reflection, and emotions. Your stories should take your audience on an emotional journey, even if it is a brief one.

Steve Jobs Commencement Speech

#4: Practice, Practice, Practice

Practice is essential to being authentic in public speaking because the more you practice, the more comfortable you will become with your message. This will help you to be more natural and authentic. When you have practiced and rehearsed so much that you are extremely familiar with your message you will be natural and authentic even if you have an outline or are reading a prepared speech. A great example is when Steve Jobs read his commencement speech to the graduating class at Stanford. Notice how he uses pausing, inflection, humor, eye contact, and stories engaging his audience while he reads his presentation.

Public Speaking Passion

#5: Be Passionate & Dramatic

Passion is contagious, and it is an essential ingredient for being authentic in public speaking. When you are passionate about your message, it shows in your delivery, and it inspires your audience. If you are not passionate about your topic, you may come off sounding monotone. Use inflection, pacing your talk (not too slow or too fast), pausing, and a little flair for the dramatic to give life to your message, stories, and anecdotes.

In summary, being authentic in public speaking is crucial to delivering a resonating message. Understanding your audience, sharing personal stories, being comfortable with your message, and showing passion about your topic helps build deeper connections with them. Public speaking is about the audience, not the speaker, so being relatable and authentic can build trust and credibility. Ultimately, authenticity enables you to deliver your message with greater impact. I hope you found this information helpful. Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

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About the Author

Hi! I'm Pam. I teach entrepreneurs to be fearless & compelling speakers online and in person and how to easily promote and run their own online workshops, webinars, and online courses. 

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