What It Really Means to Be Authentic (and How to Know If You Are)

We all say we want to be authentic. What does that even mean, though? We seem to think it means “likable” and “down to earth”—which is why we want to be perceived that way. But in fact, authenticity isn’t necessarily good or bad; it’s consistent. It’s real.

You can be authentically warm and funny.

And you could also be an authentic jerk.

Authenticity is like a glass wall; in order for it to work in your favor, you better like what’s on the other side.

A lot of the work I do these days is helping people shape their brand positioning and presence via the talks they give. Because one of the most powerful ways to show who you really are and what you stand for is to speak from the stage.

Far too many people see speaking as a way to transmit information, to educate or inform an audience.

While that may be helpful, it stops short of the WOW factor. The kind that puts great speakers in such high demand.

Yes, it requires authenticity. And authenticity requires a degree of risk (and it almost always pays off).

But here’s the thing: authenticity isn’t something you pursue directly (“I’m going to be authentic today”). It’s the effect of how aligned you, your message, and manner are. If something is “off,” everyone knows it.

In other words, if you “try” to be authentic, then you’re not really authentic, are you? And if you’re one way on stage and another way in person, then that’s not authentic, either, right? Because there’s an inconsistency there. Authenticity is above all consistent—and real.

The reason someone comes off as inauthentic is because either they’re not comfortable with what they’re saying, or they’re trying really hard to impress you.

If you’ve ever watched a speaker (or really, anyone) put on airs, or say or do things to construct a more appealing image of themselves, then you know what inauthentic is. It’s a disconnect between speaker and message, and between speaker and audience.

Authenticity closes that gap. And it’s risky because in being that way, you show who you are, not who you wish you were.

And it’s worth doing, every time.


So what about you? Do you want to speak in a more powerful, authentic way but aren’t sure how?

Maybe you feel busy or unfocused and not sure how to start.

Maybe you’re craving feedback, but really haven’t a clue as to how to get what you need.

At that event I told you about, Tapped to Speak LIVE, I made an offer that I’d also like to extend to you: The opportunity to explore your thought leadership by crafting your stand-out signature, TED-worthy talk.

It’s a program called Tapped to Speak INTENSIVE —a premium, highly curated, intimate group experience that starts now and ends with a 2.5-day retreat Oct 11-14, 2018 in New England. (There’s also an option to upgrade for 1:1 support).

You will, in fact, CREATE your talk—with unparalleled support and guidance along the way.

What I’ve found is that nothing distills a thought leadership platform like a talk—it’s got a time limit, urgency, and must be potent to work. THAT is what we’ll be creating during this program. (Read more about it here.)

Check out the video below to learn why these two professionals decided to enroll.

Now, this is not a fit for everyone—it quite frankly doesn’t have to be—I only have a handful of seats left! But I wanted to share it with you in case you or someone you know might be interested in upleveling their content and speaking skill.

See what you think of the program and if it appeals, submit your application! Why not?

Plus, if you’re accepted and enroll before August 15, you’ll get an additional group call with me plus a blueprint for boosting your speaking gigs (thanks to a fantastic program by veteran speaker and coach Patty Lennon).

There are just a few spots left. See if it’s a fit for you.


Photo by Mean Shadows on Unsplash

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