Speaking Freely: What is Authenticity? How Does it Help Public Speaking?

In terms of public speaking, developing greater authenticity is an important key to unlocking stage fright and fear of public speaking. To transform stage fright and fear of public speaking, you must learn to be comfortable being who you are in front of other people.

In public speaking, the tension associated with stage fright comes from fear of being authentic because it is fear of letting people see your real feelings in front of other people. If we can get clarity on what it means to be authentic, we can move towards developing a style of speaking that allows us freedom to be genuine.

In the first session of my group speaking course, I ask participants to define authenticity. Most people say, “Authenticity is being real or being genuine.” Many say it is “being who you are.” Then I ask, “But what does it mean to be real and genuine or to be who you are?” At that point, people hesitate, unable to go further with the definition.

I like to dig a little deeper to define authenticity more specifically. Here is what I think authenticity means. Authenticity means that your outer expression matches your inner reality. That is, you express what you are thinking, feeling, perceiving and believing internally to some degree in what you say and do. Authenticity is giving yourself permission to express your inner life genuinely to the outside world of other people. It is permission to feel your real feelings and think your real thoughts and share those with others in some way that seems appropriate to the relationship and situation.

If you can find the courage to allow yourself an authentic style of speaking, then much of the tension around speaking dissolves. When you are no longer holding onto a style that is based on being who you think you should be, you relax and become real. It may take a little time and some experience, but you can become a speaker who really touches other people, simply by being yourself!

Join the journey to authenticity by contacting me at www.self-expression.com .