Featured Speaker Elizabeth Murray thinks that “respond to authenticity.” She says “they respond to someone who is passionate and who’s speaking from their heart.” However, for many newer speakers, bringing their authenticity to the stage can seem frightening or unprofessional.
To be an effective speaker, “you need to step into who you are in your own authenticity,” said Featured Speaker Ric Morgan. But how do you do that?
Here are some tips for being authentic before an audience:
Don’t script your entire speech, create an outline that will keep you on track. Then you can spontaneously give the details and tailor your information to the audience in real time.
Be Authentically Vulnerable
There is power in vulnerability. It creates a connection with your audience. It helps them relate to you–you’re just as human as they are. Many times, it is those vulnerable stories you tell that really bring your message home and inspire your audience to action.
Focus On Your Words, Not Your Slides
In Public Speaking Super Powers, I shared a little ditty to the tune of “The Gambler” written by Don Schlitz and popularized by Kenny Rogers:
You got to know when to use ‘em, know when to lose ‘em,
Know when to demonstrate or use a prop.
You never read your slides when you’re standin’ on the stage.
And always be prepared for when technology fails.
That pretty much sums up what you need to do with visual aids. Remember, your words are the cake. Imagery to support those words is merely icing.
Have you ever watched a speaker who was so polished in their presentation that you felt distanced from them? They speak at the audience rather than with the audience. A perfectly polished presentation can actually turn off an audience more than the occasional “um,” “ah,” or misspoken word. Many times, those mishaps create your most powerful moments.
If you follow these guidelines, you’ll find that you not only are more authentic, but you are also a more confident and effective speaker.