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How to Be Authentic Onstage

3What people want more from you ‘on stage’ is YOU. People want authenticity. They don’t want a façade.

I just had a conversation with a director who was speaking at a conference I was emceeing and he talked about how he got so nervous because he felt like he needed to get things ‘perfect.’ After a short pep talk, we discovered that it wasn’t about getting it perfect, but more about being authentic. People wanted to hear from him, not read a PowerPoint.  He got up there an delivered a great speech. 

I believe that what people really want is the authentic you. They don’t want a polished, cheesy version of you — they want the real you. So when you step up onstage, don’t be someone else. Be yourself. Be authentic. In other words, remove the façade. People are okay with you making a mistake onstage when you are authentic, when you make fun of yourself (especially in Australian culture). Throw out the old scripts and start simply being yourself onstage.

Here are three practical ways to do that:

1. When you first get onstage, look into their eyes. Connect with your audience by taking a deep breath and looking into the white of their eyes for two seconds.

2. Be prepared to make mistakes. Come into your presentation knowing that you will make mistakes, and that mistakes are actually the beauty of who you are as a human being. Be authentic in your mistakes.

3. Practice your presentation prior at least three times so that when you get up on stage, you’re not reading notes — you’re engaging the people.

 

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