Are You Genuine Authentic or Even Yourself?
Have you ever heard of the term genuine, authentic or original, as it is applied to a person or their character? For the longest time whenever I came across those terms in spoken or written prose, I couldn’t quite grasp what the terminology meant. I took it as another of those buzzwords whose genre has arrived and forewarned me to brace myself as we become more bombarded by their usage.
Just recently, I reflected on a third incident I experienced which rounded out my trilogy helping me explain what being genuine truly is. Sometimes it is very difficult to just explain something based on what you read elsewhere. But to truly understand and feel the circumstance, nothing beats a real life experience. I share with you 3 true events that my wife and I experienced and helping me solidify my understanding. Hopefully it will help solidify yours.
Situation #1 – The Realtor
Several years ago my wife and I wanted to look for some investment property near where we live. We regularly get this realty junk mail with a realtors picture on it and thought, why not give him a call. We always read his articles and his picture showed him to be professional. We called and setup and appointment for 3 pm of a mid-summer afternoon.
The day came and we arrived minutes ahead of our appointment time. He arrived, but as he got out of his car and began walking towards us, in a flash, I thought, “Oh, he must have been delayed and has sent his son instead. Wait a minute! That is him. Wow! He is certainly much older than all his admail pics portray him as”. Yes, he was definitely much older today than what his admail and brochure pictures depicted. The showing went well and he was very good to collaborate with. But it really took me aback as to who I thought I would be dealing with.
Nothing wrong with working with a younger or older person. For realtors, image is everything, I know. But, I want to know exactly who I am going to be working with and what they look like, preferably today!
Situation #2 – The Professional Speaker
I connected with a professional speaker, author and social media guru some time ago through her LinkedIn and Twitter profile. I skimmed much of her articles and developed a sincere trust, albeit, virtual. Since she lives out of town, I never attended any of her live events. I finally was presented with an opportunity to meet her in person at one of her local presentations where I live. I certainly could use her expertise and take in what she had to say.
So I registered online and on the evening of the event, I arrived early, hoping I can connect, converse and maybe make a connection with her. I arrive and enter the back of the meeting room to find several people at the front, standing and chatting. I have seen her profile pictures throughout her website and social media pages, so I knew exactly who to look for.
My eyes quickly scanned the front having only 5 people to visually confront. But I needed to make several sweeps to find her and only by the process of elimination, did I identify her. Wow! Did she ever look different! I don’t mean for better or worse. I mean different from who I was led to believe I would see. Honestly, I would have never made the connection, if I didn’t know she was already here. This was the first time I have ever experienced meeting someone so contrasting in their appearance from what their pictures portrayed.
People want to know who they are going to be dealing with and what they look like… TODAY. Even though books or writings you published years ago have a more youthful you, you should still have a current picture of yourself in your ad brochures and social media, as you look today. Of course, no one is going to republish their books of years ago, to keep updated pics of themselves. But they should release their current pics on promotional material for a current event, on their website, social media or hard copies.
Situation #3 – The Amateur Speaker
We amateur speakers. Several weeks ago a good friend asked if she could come over and practise her presentation speech in front of my wife and I so she could get some critique and feedback for improvement. I have presented many speeches, both in workshops and competitions, but my wife is a total virgin at it and would be a great candidate for feedback, to ensure her delivery wasn’t “over the top”.
As we listened and watched Take #1, then Take #2, my wife gave some feedback. She felt that it may be getting a bit “over the top” and not genuine for the average non-speaker lay person. She felt it didn’t quite feel she was herself when delivering; that she may have been acting just a bit. On occasion, my wife has also commented about my speaking and not sounding myself, true or genuine.
She said, “It sounds more rehearsed and play acting, than just you being yourself and delivering in a conversational manner”. That’s when I realized she was right. I then realized we speakers have to have several levels of delivery, for the same presentation. This allows us to quickly assess and gauge our audience, then adjust our level of body language and vocal variety, to come across as credible and sincere.
A lot of that adjustment is driven by who our audience is and their level of speaking acumen. This way we speakers can vary our authenticity for maximum credibility. Sometimes there may be just too much body action for some attendees, labeling us as showmen, dramatist or theatrical. So for us aspiring speakers, we should develop several levels of delivery.
For us aspiring speakers, we should have several levels of authenticity that we can deliver so we get maximum credibility from our audience or attendees. Speakers can sometimes be branded by their specific delivery style which becomes how they are known. This becomes their brand; their branding.
Sometimes we come across people, who during a conversation with us, just come across as phony, plastic, unreal, rehearsed, role playing, drama inflicted, and just not highly credible. It may even start to impair the idea or concept we are trying to get across to our attendees. They setup up a mental wall or barrier to us. We don’t fully connect with them.
Are You Genuine – Be The Real You
So how do you come across? What is your level of authenticity? Do you come across as genuine? Use my 3 examples above to help you first understand what being genuine truly encompasses. Then use these examples to help shape your level of genuineness, your authenticity. Use my tips above to help you become more genuine, authentic, to just be yourself