The Authenticity Advantage: How Genuine Speakers Stand Out

The Authenticity Advantage: How Genuine Speakers Stand Out

You know I love Brene Brown and I often find myself inspired by her. I was recently thinking about something I heard her say once: “Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are.” This quote resonates deeply with me, especially after a recent speaker event I attended that left me contemplating the essence of genuine connection and honesty in public speaking.

Let me share my experience with you.

I was at an event a couple of weeks ago and the speaker was telling a story about being a really, really busy entrepreneur. Here’s how it went:

The man’s son came into his office to give him a picture he drew.

And the dad said, “Oh, thank you. What is this of?”

“It’s of you!”, the son said.

The dad thanked his son and looked at the picture. It was a stick figure drawing of him with two cell phones and a computer in his office working.

Up to this point I was 100% with the speaker. I was thinking yeah- kids DO notice when you work all the time.

And then the man put a picture up on the screen of his son’s drawing.

And that’s where he lost me.

The drawing he was showing was not the drawing of a 6 yr old. Sure, it had a stick figure dad but it also had grid lines on the computer, little vibrations around the phone as if it was ringing, and the other details were just much too precise for a 6 year old.

In that moment, authenticity took a back seat to the presentation. And the funny thing is, it was not even necessary. The speaker could have made so many different choices- tell the story but leave out the picture, show the real picture, show the fabricated picture and let the audience know the original picture looked something like this. Instead, he chose a path that made his audience immediately not believe that everything he was saying was true.

He lost all credibility by not being authentic.

This incident underscores a crucial truth: authenticity is non-negotiable, especially on stage. Here are some key points I want you to embrace:

  1. Authenticity Over Everything: Speakers who remain true to themselves resonate the most with their audience. Attempting to fabricate a persona leads to disconnection and mistrust.
  2. Honesty Is Key: Being authentic means not only speaking truthfully but also presenting oneself genuinely. Embracing who you are, flaws and all, fosters genuine connections.
  3. Find Your Unique Style: Just as every individual is unique, so too should be their speaking style. Embrace your quirks and idiosyncrasies—they make you memorable.
  4. Energy Alignment: Your energy on stage sets the tone for the audience. Trying to hype up others while lacking genuine enthusiasm is transparent and ineffective. Match your energy to your message authentically.
  5. Magnify Your Authenticity: Being on stage magnifies who you are. It’s not about becoming someone else; it’s about amplifying your genuine self by 10%.

As I reflect on my journey in public speaking, I recall a time when I veered off course, mimicking the style of others instead of embracing my own. It wasn’t until I embraced my true self that I truly connected with my audience.

So, as you prepare for your next speaking engagement, I urge you to ponder: Are you being authentic on stage? Or are you trying to embody someone else’s persona? Remember, genuine connection stems from authenticity, and that’s what truly captivates an audience.

Let’s strive to be the kind of speakers who leave a lasting impact—one built on honesty, vulnerability, and unwavering authenticity.

Dino Watt


PS: Head on over to my Facebook group called “Command the Room”. It’s a group dedicated to helping like minded speakers improve their craft.

PPS: I save audiences from boring speeches by helping speakers make a lasting impact. 🤝