Can you just be yourself?
Are you authentic? Can you just be yourself and connect with people?
What if you’re shy, terrified, tongue tied or just don’t come across well?
When I talk to people about engaging with an audience, either in person or on social media, the issue of authenticity often comes up.
It seems that some people think being “authentic” means you have to be yourself regardless, and shouldn’t try and become a better communicator.
Being authentic doesn’t mean you can’t improve your communication skills.
You don’t need to change your values or sell your soul in order to be a more interesting speaker, to get your point across well or even, (shock) be entertaining and charismatic!
I work with Jon Torrens, a Communications Coach and ex-stand up comedian, and he has some great tips on 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? What if you could find a character that’s exactly right for you, so feels authentic, and guarantees you’ll never feel uninteresting again?”
What character are you?
In movies, stories and video games, we all relate to the different characters. Ruthless, unpredictable, charismatic, creative people whose attributes we can briefly fantasise 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 do you imagine you are?
Asking this question of my network of business owners 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 would like to 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). Which character would you like to step into when you have to speak in public……..?
There is no need to be uninteresting
Some people are blessed with a natural charisma and some people have to work on it.
“Working on it” doesn’t mean you are putting on an act. It means you are looking for the most interesting way to communicate effectively.
It has never been easier to find an audience. Keeping them interested takes work.
If you’d like help in learning how to be interesting by being yourself and how to build great relationships just contact me.
Don’t hold back from making a great impression just because you don’t think you’re interesting enough!