How to remain authentic in public speaking

Authenticity: be true to yourself in presentations

Authenticity has become something of a buzzword in recent years. Consumers and voters want their businesses and politicians to be ‘real’ and this trend probably has a lot to do with social media.

authenticity when presenting

So it is remarkable that, in the face of this, in a public speaking situation so many of us become someone completely different.

How many times have you seen a friend, colleague or a member of your team take to the stage, stand up to address a meeting, or more recently speak on webcam, and you find you barely recognise them? Equally, when called on to speak in public, do you subconsciously morph into a different version of yourself? It is common for us either to exaggerate or go within ourselves; for whatever reason – be that nerves, or impostor syndrome – the act of public speaking can somehow diminish us.

At Open Dawes Training, we specialise in public speaking and presentation training, and we help people overcome this all too common issue. We help our clients to understand that when they speak in public – whether in a formal presentation, or at a meeting – they need to be true to themselves. Indeed, we help them to become the very best version of themselves. After all, if you are chatting to someone down the pub, or within your family, you are having a conversation. Public speaking is no different.

Our message is stand up and be yourself and never wear a mask – it’s difficult to maintain and you will be found out! Nobody can be you, better than you can. What an advantage that is, and nice to know you aren’t asking any more than that of yourself!

How to remain authentic in public speaking

  1. Use your own voice – there’s no need to sound ‘posh’ or adopt a ‘telephone voice’ because that will be hard to keep up.
  2. Never wear a mask because it if slips, you’re exposed.
  3. Forget this is a presentation, simply regard it as a conversation, just as you would have with your family and friends.
  4. Relax and share. You’re not preaching, or dictating, but just sharing your knowledge and expertise for people to take as much, or as little, as they wish.
  5. Nobody can be you better than you, so it really shouldn’t be that difficult. You’re not being asked to swim the Channel or jump into a shark tank. Be yourself – you’re fantastic at it!

Finally, try to recapture your inner child. Remember when you were carefree and joyous, and had no qualms or hang ups? If you can get back to that, you’ll be a winning public speaker. We’ll develop this theme in our next feature…

Open Dawes Training has more advice on presentation and public speaking on its website, including the popular Open Dawes Training Facebook Live posts. Open Dawes Training runs CPD accredited public speaking and presentation training on a one-to-one or group basis, either inhouse or at the Swindon training centre. To contact Managing Director Chris Dawes and the team, call 01793 238259 or email

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