Are You Being You?

I recently did a talk with  a group of young adults on the topic: Balancing  Careers, Family and Fun!  I told them that I was the “poster child” for this topic because I have been balancing these three things for as long as I can remember. I shared my experiences from when I had my  first job right out of college to the ups and downs of  making the transition from the corporate world to becoming an entrepreneur. There was a lot of laughter and I truly enjoyed sharing my life experiences.   After I had received my feedback about the presentation, I noticed a common thread among the comments. The overwhelming response was that my audience felt engaged because I was so “transparent” and so “real.”

I was happy that the information was well received, but I was also a little taken aback. I don’t know what this young audience expected, but what I DID  know was that I didn’t know how to be anybody else but ME.

Sometimes when  people speak they maybe more concerned with WHAT they present and forget about the HUMAN side of presenting. Yes, it’s important about WHAT you say, but it also matters HOW you say it.  People want to know WHO is  the real person behind the presentation. Why was THIS person  selected to present? What EXPERIENCE does the presenter  have that is relevant and  can the audience  RELATE to it? And finally, what can the audience TAKE AWAY  and use immediately  once they leave?

If more presenters thought about these questions, they might rethink their flow of  how they present. It’s crucial to get the audience involved by asking them questions and getting their thoughts on the topic being discussed. A presenter can learn a lot from an audience  from just watching their body language and eye contact. Look for cues  that will tell you whether or not your presentation is on the right track or if it is about to be derailed.   In other words, the more the audience shows you, the more you should want to show them. Feed off them and and let them feed off you.  Relax and just be yourself. Be conversational and have fun and watch  how much easier you will connect with your audience and they connect with you. And finally, make sure you stay to true to yourself and to your audience. Your true authenticity will come out  naturally.

WOYN TIP: Just Do You. It’s a lot easier than trying to Do Someone Else.