When I see women posting videos and announcing that they’re not wearing any make-up because they want to be authentic, I feel that is inauthentic. The presence or absence of cosmetics is not what determines the authenticity of one’s message; the truthfulness and honesty of the message is what makes it authentic. Pretending you are not preparing yourself or your message is inauthentic. If you have the forethought to turn on your video camera and then post and share your video, is it really a spur-of-the-moment thought-share? Isn’t it more authentic to present yourself the way you would present yourself for the public before you turn on your video camera? Announcing that you are about to “be authentic” is also not necessary. Unless you are intimating that you are lying most of the time, shouldn’t we assume that you are being authentic and honest all of the time? Preparing your message and yourself before you make any public statement, whether it’s a Facebook post, a YouTube video or a formal speech, does not make it, nor you, inauthentic. Preparation and the refinement of your message shows that you care about what you are communicating.
Authenticity is felt immediately. It doesn’t need to be announced.
Authenticity doesn’t need to be announced in media interviews or presentations either.
In media training sessions, we coach our clients to avoid saying, “honestly,” or “I’m going to be honest with you now,” because these words and phrases can beg the question, “Were you not being honest the rest of the time that you were speaking?” People will trust you if you convey trustworthiness with your words and body language. You don’t need to ask them to trust you…unless you’ve betrayed their trust, in which case you would need more specific media training and strategy or crisis communication services. You can follow everything you’ve learned in your media training or presentation training, and still communicate the messages that will lead you to your goals or address important issues.
Communicating with authenticity means letting go of pretense.
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This post was written by Lisa Elia, a media trainer, presentation trainer, pitch coach, communication expert, and speaker. She trains clients around the world for media interviews, speeches, internal and external presentations, panels, investor presentations, and promotional videos, and provides executive and team communication coaching.
With more than 25 years of experience, Lisa has prepared clients for interviews with TODAY, GMA, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, ESPN, and hundreds of other outlets. Lisa has shared her expertise with national media outlets that include Inc., Entertainment Tonight, E!, and many others. Clients include entrepreneurs, Fortune 500 companies, and everything in between as well as athletes, celebrities, and other public figures.