Can you just be yourself?
We all want to do business with real people but when I urge people to “be themselves”, I often get the reply, “but I’m not very interesting” or “I don’t come across well”. So I asked Jon Torrens, Communications Coach and ex-stand up comedian, to write about how to make sure you’re always interesting – and have fun at the same time.
“You know how some actors and comedians seem to be quite dull when they’re interviewed and they’re not in character, but sparkling and fun when they are? Here’s how you can step into a character that’s exactly right for you and guarantees you’ll never feel uninteresting again!
In movies, stories and video games, we all relate to the different characters. Ruthless, unpredictable, charismatic, creative people whose attributes we can briefly fantasize as actually being our own. We all infer a real life person’s character from only a few seconds’ observation – their walk, clothes and demeanour tell us all kinds of things about them.
First impressions count
Whether these things are accurate indicators of that person’s character is of course another matter, and that’s where the fun begins. What character are you? The clever thing to do is to discover a character that works for you – your ‘game face’ – and use it when appropriate to be most effective when communicating.
When you find one that is right, it has the benefit of being both natural and really interesting for other people to interact with. When you step into character it puts you in the frame of mind that helps you display the characteristic that really helps all communication: natural confidence.
Who are you – really?
Ask others how they see you. Watch yourself on video (excruciating, isn’t it?) and draw out those elements that define you, which you can then capitalise on to become engaging, interesting and well, a real person.”
Who do you imagine you are?
Asking this question in our Facebook Group got some amazing (and sometimes hilarious) replies but also lots of head nodding as we could see the connection between people we know and the characters they assume when they speak in public and shows that lots of people find this sort of exercise really useful.
Jon sees himself as Batman and often refers to me as “M” from the James Bond movies (played by Judi Dench, not Ralph Fiennes). Tell us which character you’d like to step into when you have to speak in public……..
If you’d like Jon’s help in learning how to identify a character that is close to your natural self but with added power, and the techniques that you can use to step into character anytime you need to, just ask him.
Don’t hold back from making a great impression just because you don’t think you’re interesting enough!