Send YOUR Signal

© Suzanne Tucker; Shutterstock

© Suzanne Tucker; Shutterstock

There are nearly 2000 species of fireflies, and each one has a unique flash pattern to communicate its identity, like visual Morse code, and each is beautiful...

Whether firefly or public speaker, providing your audience with an authentic indicator of who you are is essential to your success.  Audiences are looking for signals of authenticity, and when they are missing, their internal alarms are quick to signal an imposter.

Being authentic doesn't just improve your credibility in the eyes of your audience, it also helps you comfortably tackle the challenge of standing in front of others.  When you commit to being yourself, you free up mental resources to focus on your story and meaningfully interact with your audience.

Simple signals of authenticity include natural speech patterns and mannerisms; the inclusion of anecdotes, examples, and metaphors consistent with your known interests; fluid gestures that match the content and emotion of the moment; jokes only if they are natural and unforced; and an expression of care and concern consistent with how you would talk to a close friend.  

But don't fall into the costly trap of shunning preparation and practice in the name of being authentic.  Unpreparedness is not authenticity.

It may seem like a fine line--cater to your audience or stay true to yourself--but in reality there is no tradeoff.  Craft your message and shape your content to what your audience needs to hear, but present it in your own authentic way.   

Being authentic and prepared are necessary to win the trust of your audience and help your message resonate.