How do we know when someone’s being authentic? It’s often just a feeling, isn’t it – if we’re honest.
There’s certainly a lot of debate about it nowadays. And it’s something you really need to think about when you’re in business.
What does it mean – and why does it matter?
In business, it’s about building trust, and brand reputation – by having the right values – and meeting expectations. It’s more than a buzzword – it should go right to the heart of your organization’s culture – and people.
And, in a time when we can all feel confused by conflicting messages, it’s increasingly important.
Customers are crying out for it
A recent study by Cohn and Wolfe concluded that consumers really are yearning for authenticity. But 78 % of people surveyed said that they didn’t think brands were open and honest. 88 % of consumers indicated that they would reward companies that were more transparent and ‘real’.
And, according to Cohn & Wolfe…
if companies were to be more authentic, then consumers would earn their, loyalty, investment and even a desire to work for the company’.
So this is really important…
One area where this comes to the fore is in communication – and the way you come across to others. So we’re going to focus here on the power of authenticity in how you present yourself – and your business.
Presenting and public speaking
When you’re the boss, or you manage a team – this is something you will inevitably have to deal with at some stage. Presenting and public speaking are an increasingly important part of corporate culture – after all.
Being authentic is crucial to creating the right impression – and being the business you really should be. You don’t want to be the presenter who stumbles with incorrect information or figures, for example. Or looks as if you’re not being completely transparent – just because you weren’t properly prepared.
Research carried out with more than 75,000 people found that the top four characteristics we all want of businesses are to be:
And, if you conducted a study about authentic presenting and public speaking, we think the results would be similar.
So how should you approach this…?
What are the top public speaking tips for your team?
If you feel your team doesn’t currently have the right skill set, hiring a public speaking coach could be a good business investment… And, of course, using the right tools can help you create awesome business presentations within minutes.
But our other top tips, for being successful would include:
Don’t be afraid to be emotional
When you watch a presenter who seems sincere, you just connect more with what they’re saying – don’t you? And, contrary to what a lot of business people think, there’s nothing wrong with showing emotion. Human beings are emotional creatures, after all, and we’re wired to respond well to someone who feels strongly about their subject. So don’t be afraid to inject real feeling and transparency into your presenting – it will connect with people and show that you care.
Try to be mindful
Mindfulness might feel like a buzzword, but what we really mean by that is ‘remaining in the moment’. Don’t live in the past or future when you present to people – worrying about old mistakes of imagining new ones. Just try to stay right there, in the room – it will make a huge difference and people will respond accordingly.
But how do you do that? By spending time practicing – then you can make sure you’re present with any audience. Check all your technical equipment, have a few run-throughs – whatever you can do beforehand will count Because then you won’t be distracted by endless thoughts of potential pitfalls. Or look unsure of yourself and the situation.
You will come across as authentic because your audience will know that nothing else is important – apart from that connection.
The benefits to your business are that you then get your message across clearly and give a good impression. People will carry that feeling of connection with them when they’re involved in future decision making. Trust means so much in business, after all – so it could work wonders for your business’s success long term.
A few final thoughts
We hope this post has given you some valuable pointers about authenticity in your business practices. In a world that’s in flux, it can make all the difference. Because we all want to trust the people we deal with. And being ‘you’ is the best way to achieve that.