I love being on the stage! As a child and young woman, I performed as a competitive figure skater, jazz dancer and competitive swing dancer. (I've got a collection of medals and awards to show for it.) However, since 1997 my time on stage has been in the form of sharing my message as a speaker and teacher. And, my "performance" has completely changed during that time.
You see, in order to authentically share my message in a way that would have an impact on my audience, I had to completely let go of my drive to "perform." But, let me tell you, the "performance" drive was so ingrained in me it took a lot of "undoing" for me to release the expectations I had on myself (and any expectation I thought my audience was putting on me).
Honestly, I used to worry about every detail of my performance, as if there were still a panel of discerning judges waiting to critique my every move.
Ahhhh, but there WAS a panel of extremely critical judges in my OWN mind; until I learned how to be completely 100% authentic, transparent, honest and open when I am "on stage" and off! This authenticity completely eliminated my drive to "perform" and also got rid of the judges in my head while making a HUGE difference in the impact and connection I have with my audience.
So, what does it look like to give up your performance and step into your authenticity... in business?! Over the course of the next few weeks, I'll share some examples from my own experiences in hopes these will give you a glimpse of how to be your authentic self in YOUR business.
Speak From Your Heart
In my desire to help more people and make a difference when I speak, I did a lot of research to discover the "style" in which to speak so I could make a lasting connection with my audience. I studied with a few mentors that were considered by many to be the "masters" in the field of speaking. These experts had their talks down to a science. Literally; every gesture, every joke, every inflection in their voice, every nod and smile were perfectly executed.
However, these types of presentations always felt sleazy and calculated to me; as if the speaker didn't really care about the audience. Needless to say, I quickly dismissed what I learned from them and decided to find my own voice! And that's the best way for you to share your authentic self, too.
Finding your own voice requires you to connect with yourself, connect with the love in your heart and the light you want to share with others. Yes, it's important to have a few key points in mind to talk about, but what truly gets your audience on board (whether it's 1 person or 1000 people) is how they FEEL when you're talking. Here are some questions to think about from the perspective of your audience/your listener:
Do they feel that you truly care about them?
Do you come across as authentic to them?
Do they feel like you have their best interest in mind?
Do you show up as the same person on stage as you do when you're off stage?
Are you aligned with your message?
Do you feel "real" to them (rather than polished and perfect)?
These things are what truly matter to every person you talk to in your business. Take some time to contemplate these questions to best assess where you stand now in being authentic with your clients, prospects and audience members.
And, remember, when you forget about what you think you "should" be doing and focus on speaking from your heart, your authentic self shows up... every time!
© 2009 Christine Kloser
Would you like to use this article? You may as long as you include the following information along with the article: Christine Kloser, author of The Freedom Formula, helps entrepreneurs put soul in their business and money in the bank. If you want to thrive in your purpose-driven, profitable business (while enjoying a soul-satisfying life), send for my special report, How to Avoid the 3 Massive Mistakes Made by Most Conscious Entrepreneurs and my audio, 7 Strategies Entrepreneurial Authors Need to Know... Before Writing a Word, both of which you get (at no charge) when you request my Conscious Business Success Kit at www.LoveYourLife.com.
Sit Down and Write!
Last week I spoke with an energetic, and excited aspiring author. She had tons of great ideas and had done much of the foundation work to build her book on solid ground... and use it to grow her business. However, she was stuck on the "writing part." I hear this often from aspiring authors. Many times the book is completely written WITHIN them, but they don't have word on paper. If this is you, I've only got 4 words to say: "Sit Down and Write!" Sometimes you've got to turn off the phones, go sit at Starbucks, take a train trip, or hop on a plane to get focused time to write. But, it's got to be done. Our Get Your Book Done® program makes it as easy as "paint-by-number" to write your book... but YOU still need to write it. So, look at your calendar right now and make at least three appointments with yourself to write your book.
If you're interested in growing your business as a published author, please visit www.LoveYourLifePublishing.com where you'll get my FR^EE audio on "3 Insider Secrets That Will Help You Write Your Book the RIGHT Way."