Morgan's 4 Underlying Intents (Aims) to Become an Authentic Speaker
The ability of communicating authentically (and being perceived as authentic person) is a very important leadership skill. When they possess it, leaders can relatively easily move others to a position they do not currently hold. Without it, cynicism prevails and stakeholders and employees become more refractory.
How to deliver an 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 recommends to 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.
THE INTENT TO BE OPEN WITH YOUR AUDIENCE
Being open is the first and probably the most important thing to focus on. Because when you close yourself, the listeners will see you as defensive. Then you probably miss the chance for communication.
When giving a presentation, you need to feel like (not look like) doing this to someone who you are completely relaxed with. You can rehearse with a close friend or your spouse, remember the feeling of it, and just replicate that feeling at your speech.
THE INTENT TO CONNECT WITH YOUR AUDIENCE
After getting the feeling of openness, now you need to focus on your audience and feel you really connect with them. How to keep their attention throughout your speech? One strategy is to find the ones from your audience that have the strongest connection with your topic and encourage them to interact with you during the presentation.
THE INTENT TO BE PASSIONATE ABOUT YOUR TOPIC
Content is important for a presentation too, but your emotional connection with the topic is more important for an authentic speech. Think about why you are giving the speech and how you feel about that. Your passion will transform an average event/talk into something memorable for your audience.
THE INTENT TO "LISTEN" TO YOUR AUDIENCE
Discover the emotional status of your audience is the most important task during your presentation. Your listeners will give you nonverbal messages as a response to your speech. You need to pick them up and response back, such as change the pace, alter the language, even eliminate some parts of your talk. If the presentation has a Q&A session, that would be an opportunity to learn about your audience, make sure you listen to them with your whole body, in an appropriate gesture.
⇨ Do you agree with Morgan? Do you have any further tips on becoming an authentic speaker?
Source: Morgan, N., 2008. How to become an Authentic Speaker?. Harvard Business Review, November 2008.