Today I want to talk about Authenticity in speaking – the A in my Speak with HEART Market with SOUL™ system – a topic near and dear to my heart. A lot of people throw the word around and give lip service to it, but to BE it requires us to divest ourselves of our archetypes and stereotypes and reveal the real humanity inside, ultimately, yet, counter-intuitively, bringing us into greater connection with those in our sphere of community and influence.
In speaking, connection is your first priority – not just so they hear you, but so they resonate with you. You have to show up fully so that your audience can trust you. And we can only truly connect when we are being authentic. But because authenticity is a state of being, not an act of doing, it is harder to know when and how we BE truly authentic.
The etymology of authenticity comes from the Greek authentikos, meaning “original, genuine, principal,” from authentes “one acting on one’s own authority,” from autos “self” + hentes “doer, being.” Defined in modern terms, authenticity is “the quality of being genuine or not corrupted from the original.”
One of the ways to connect is through the telling of your story of personal transformation – what you went through that brought you to this moment of serving others with your wisdom and advice. Its how you show that you have earned the right to speak on your topic. On the surface, the telling of that story may seem to be about you and your experience, but when you convey it authentically, it becomes a shared experience that your audience, whether it is one person or many, can relate to and find a part of themselves in. As human beings we are all wired to both consciously and unconsciously look for a pay attention to how things relate to us and our needs.
Just sharing your story doesn’t mean that you are being authentic, though. There is a quality of vulnerability and okay-ness with being with what is so, without apology and without trying to cover up feelings of discomfort in the face of being so exposed. People think they need to be all put together and polished when they speak, doing and saying all the “right” things. But the opposite is true. The more “real” you are, the more of your Humanity (the H in the Speak with HEART…system) you show, the more your audience will love you and go where you want to lead them.
The joy of coaching people live and in-person, is that I get to see the real beauty inside the unconscious pretenses that people wear and employ to cover up their fears and feelings of inadequacy. It’s like being a sculptor that chips away everything that isn’t the real you to reveal the human masterpiece inside – ultimately making you sought-after as a trusted advisor and way-shower to those who need you most.
When you tell a personal story with authenticity, you create a safe space. You show them that if you can survive and thrive through a challenge, they can too. You put them in touch with their own emotions so they can gain deeper personal insight. You can only truly do that by being authentic and staying present with them at the same time. It says “you are seeing me,” complete with all the bruises and scars of your humanity, as well as the triumphs and successes of your Expertise (the E in my Speak with Heart…system).
So I ask you…
Would you rather expend your precious energy trying to “look good” in the desperate attempt to not be rejected (which truly doesn’t work), or would you rather release the burden of everything that covers up the real, lovable you (which truly does work) and start connecting in a powerful, heart-centered way?
If you would like to speak with a greater sense of authenticity and be able to move more of your audience to say “yes” to you, I invite you to contact me for a complimentary Speaking Breakthrough Strategy Session.