Morgan's 4 Underlying Intents (Aims) to Become an Authentic Speaker

Communication and Skills


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Chloe Xu
Director, Australia

Morgan's 4 Underlying Intents (Aims) to Become an Authentic Speaker

The abilityofcommunicatingauthentically (and being perceived as authentic person) isa very important leadership skill. When they possess it, leaderscanrelatively easily move others to a position they donotcurrently hold. Without it, cynicism prevails and stakeholders and employees become morerefractory.
How to deliveran authentic speech and how to be perceived as an authentic person? When preparing for a speech and/or to increase your authenticity, Morgan says that people's natural and unstudied gestures are often indicators of what they will think and say next. That's why he recommendsto not focus on specific tricks or gestures, but to tap into the basic impulses underlying your speech. These include 4 powerful "aims" or "intends" which you can actually practice: to be open, to connect, to be passionate, and to listen.

Being open isthe first andprobably the most important thing tofocus on. Because when youclose yourself, the listenerswillsee you as defensive. Then you probably miss the chancefor communication.
When giving a presentation, you need to feellike(not look like) doing thistosomeone who you are completelyrelaxedwith. You canrehearsewith a close friend or your spouse, remember the feeling of it, and just replicate that feeling at your speech.

After getting the feeling of openness, now you need tofocus on your audience and feel you really connect with them. How to keep their attention throughout your speech? One strategyis to find theones from your audience that have the strongest connection with your topicandencourage them to interact with you during the presentation.

Content is important fora presentation too, butyour emotional connection with the topicis more important for an authenticspeech. Think about why you are giving the speech andhow you feel about that. Your passionwilltransforman average event/talk intosomething memorable for your audience.

Discover theemotional status of youraudienceis the most important taskduring your presentation. Your listenerswillgive you nonverbal messagesas a response to yourspeech. You need to pickthem up and responseback, such as change the pace, alter the language, even eliminate some parts of yourtalk. If the presentation has a Q&A session, that would be an opportunity tolearn about your audience, make sureyoulisten tothem with your whole body, in an appropriate gesture.

⇨ Do you agree with Morgan? Do you have any further tips onbecoming an authentic speaker?

Source: Morgan, N., 2008. How to become an Authentic Speaker?. Harvard Business Review, November 2008.


Maurice Hogarth
Consultant, United Kingdom

Speaking Authentically

Interesting... But I'm not fully clear on your "Be Open..." point. This openness seems to relate to ... Sign up

Chloe Xu
Director, Australia

Re: Speaking Authentically

@Maurice Hogarth: Hi Maurice, thank you for your reaction. "Being open" means that we are upfront of... Sign up

Maurice Hogarth
Consultant, United Kingdom

Speaking to Engage

Hello Chloe. Thank you for your clarifying. Re the 'interacting' aspect: I agree with your point t... Sign up

Chloe Xu
Director, Australia

Seeking Echo from the Audience

@Maurice Hogarth: My understanding of choosing "strong connection" over the "minimal interest" is an... Sign up

Warren D. Miller, CPA, CFA
Strategy Consultant, United States

Becoming a Better Public Speaker

The fastest, easiest, and least-expensive way that I know of to become a good speaker is to join Toa... Sign up


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