Have you ever been part of a presentation where the presentation seemed flat even though the moderator seemed to have the facts and information correct? Or maybe you were the moderator who worked so hard on his presentation that you actually overdo it and in the end lose that authentic edge to your work by adding statistics and data to the information that distracts from the story.
In any case, it is very easy to fall into this trap. So you need to ask yourself how great communicators ensure that while they are presenting accurate and (sometimes) dense information, they are still personable and entertaining.
To be authentic means to be yourself. If you have passion and emotion, let it show in your interactions with others. If you are the calm guy, stay calm and composed and the people you interact with will appreciate it.
Often times, when we feel uncomfortable or unsafe, we copy the behavior and habits of others by default. [tweet this]
To use a popular phrase stay on your track. Do not try to be someone you are not and do not exude personality traits that you do not take for granted.
Practice to do this. Practice your presentations and interactions. Even the popular “elevator speech” or even as you imagine – make sure you practice.
It takes time to be authentic
To be authentic – be it during a presentation, board meeting, networking event, or sitting with a client – practice is required. Notice your expressions and gestures as you practice in front of the mirror.
Your physical gestures are by far responsible for how authentically you encounter. In this context, we will address your physical presence in two key situations: during presentations and for one-on-one interactions.
Your body language is very important in presentations. If you are using presentation software, withdraw from the screen. Instead of turning your back on the audience, practice looking at the audience as often as possible. Let the slides play second fiddle to your actual conversation.
Gestures enhance your presentation. As you articulate how little the company missed its quarterly forecast for investors, let the tiny gap between your index finger and thumb emphasize it. Conversely, the large distance between the two arms shows how big the company wants to expand.
Stand up straight, keep eye contact, avoid folding your hands or putting them in your pocket, and speak loudly. Practice what you will say and anticipate the types of questions that will be asked. There is no substitute for preparation.
(ii) One-to-one interactions
While you can get away with small mistakes in presentations, one-on-one interactions give you full view of your audience. Every grin, wrinkle in the nose or unpleasant shrug of shoulders will be noticed immediately. You need to be at your best when talking face-to-face.
Do not act like that. Always be yourself. Make your message clear and precise to show the other person what you mean. Back up any allegations with facts and listen to the other person as they speak. Present the facts, secure credible information, and let the person decide.
In summary, you (and prepared) will make the audience see you as believable and authentic. Focus on your role and don’t worry too much about the audience. If you really show your personality and love them in your own way, they will like you and trust you.
Maria Elena Duronis Managing Editor of the Personal Branding Blog, CEO (Chief Engagement Officer) of Buzz2bucks– – a word of mouth marketing companyand a professional speaker and trainer for developing functioning social networks. She offers workshops, webinars, seminars and direct services that help create conversation, connection, credibility, community and commerce around your brand. Maria Duron is the founder and presenter of #Brandchat– A weekly Twitter chat that focuses on all aspects of branding recognized by Mashable as one of the top 15 Twitter chats for social media marketers.