"Let it be known, no person, thing, or situation can validate you. You validate yourself by realizing who you are." Mark Tosoni
Knowing who you are is essential before you step in front of an audience. What are you knowledgeable to speak about? What are you interested in learning? What are you passionate about sharing? When you have clarity, your confidence and excitement about your topic will radiate throughout your presentation.
People see, hear, then they believe. Whatever the purpose of your speaking, it is ultimately important that the audience believes you. Your credibility is vital before they will buy your product, service, or your call to action. More than 90% of why a person "buys" from you is because they like and trust you. From the moment your audience first hears about you, sees you, or hears you present, they are making a decision about who you are and what you are saying.
Which is more important in a presentation, the message or the messenger? Both are completely dependent on the other with a cycle of the message supporting the messenger and vice versa. What is essential is congruence of what you are saying and who you are.
Credibility is created with congruence. Who are you? Are you congruent with your message? If you are talking about financial investments but your portfolio is negative, the audience will be able to detect your incongruence. If you are talking about marketing with an integrated marketing image, your audience will sit up and listen.
Authenticity and integrity are qualities that the audience will discern, the same way they will know if you are a fraud or lack integrity. Be real. Audiences love presenters who aren't afraid to show their weaknesses or laugh at themselves. Vulnerability or openness from the speaker helps people relate.
For example, during a sales seminar I shared that at the beginning of my career I had to "post-date twenty dollar checks" because my commission checks were not very big. Members of the audience nodded their heads in agreement and two came up after the program, thanking me for helping them see that success in selling was possible. One of these has kept in contact over the past decade letting me know his progress. About once a year he calls and he reminds me that my willingness to be real from the stage opened up his mind to his own potential.
This is not intended that you use the audience to bare your soul and make them feel uncomfortable. I heard a speaker talk about her divorce. She had not emotionally resolved her feelings and should not have talked about a subject that was still raw to her. Once healed, her story might have value, but not until then.
Authenticity, vulnerability, and realness simply mean that you know who you are. When you know that, you are comfortable with yourself and your audiences will be, too.
Presentation and sales coach Linda Snyder is the creator of "Dare To Dream: Plan to Succeed," a practical guide to achieving powerful goals based on Linda's 26 years of experience presenting motivational seminars and sales trainings. To learn more about this book, communications coaching, and to sign up for FREE teleclasses, visit www.clarityofvision.com.