Speaking Tip #1 – Be Yourself
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When you see a great speaker there can be a lot of memorable things you notice. BUT, no matter who they are, chances are that they are being 100% authentic. That is the SINGLE BIGGEST SECRET about being a great speaker.
Don’t try and copy anyone else. Don’t rehearse gestures. Don’t try and be a highly motivating guy/gal if that’s not who you are. Just be you.
Most people who do public speaking of any kind know this. The problem is implementation. So, why do so many people have a hard time doing this? I think it’s fear. Fear of not being accepted or liked for who they are. If you “act like a speaker” and people reject you, they aren’t rejecting YOU personally, but the act you’ve prepared. It’s easier to take that kind of rejection.
BUT, if you choose to do what I do, and just be 100% yourself you are at risk. If people don’t like you, they are rejecting YOU personally. My feeling? So what! Who cares?
I know that in any given audience a percentage of people will hate me. Why? Just because. Maybe I look like their father-in-law. Maybe my mannerisms remind them of someone from high school who use to beat them up every day. Who knows?
I just go with what I’ve got. I suggest you do the same.
How does one get better at being themselves? Good question. It’s tough if you grew up putting on various acts for people based on what performance was required. Frankly, I was never very good at that.
If you want to be a more authentic YOU, I suggest doing improv. I do an event every 6 months or so that you should check out. It’s called The Speaking School. If you can’t make it to one of these events, then take an improv class at your local college or continuing education center.
Improv will help you be MORE of YOURSELF. Do it now.