The Authentic Speaker

“Be yourself; everyone is already taken.” – Gilbert Perreira

Our tendency when we are developing our speaking style is to imitate other speakers that we admire. However, we each were fearfully and wonderfully made to be exactly who we are. We were gifted accordingly. To try to be anything other than who you were created to be, would be like trying to rearrange your genetic code. Instead let’s explore how to be uniquely you when you speak.

1) Your Qualities – Make a list of your strengths. Are you kind, thoughtful, energetic, funny, knowledgeable? Bring those qualities into your presentation. Resist the urge to imitate other speakers.

2) Be unique – We all have unique behaviors and quirks. Allow your quirky-ness to be a part of your speaking style.

3) Introvert or Extrovert – We each have natural rhythms in the way we operate. I am an introvert, so my rhythm is to be deep and inwardly focused. I speak more slowly and thoughtfully. Introverts shouldn’t try to manufacture enthusiasm, but they can work on keeping their energy up. Extroverts are dynamic and outwardly focused. They tend to have large movements and are more dramatic. Extroverts shouldn’t try to squash their natural energy or try to be more controlled. As the famous quote by Popeye, The Sailor Man says, “I am what I am, and that’s all that I am.”

4) Say it like you would say it in real life – Speak to your audience just like you would to your best friend. Don’t act…speak. According to Dr. Michelle Mazur, “The main difference between speaking and acting is this; speaking is about your audience and connecting with them, while acting is about entertaining.”

5) Be Vulnerable – As scary as it may be, being vulnerable encourages authenticity. When you are vulnerable, you open yourself up to being rejected. However, you also open yourself up to someone relating to you and your story. Only then can you connect with those in the audience that need your message to get through their mess.

If developing your own unique speaker style sounds overwhelming, join us at Engaging Speakers where seasoned, successful speakers can help you become an authentic speaker that you were meant to be.

Gail Brown. Founder of Engaging Speakers, gail@engagingspeakers.com

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