Do You Do These Things To Be Your Authentic Self When You Speak?


by Burt Dubin on September 1, 2012

In this article you discover the virtues of authentic presence. Yours. The impact you make on your audiences when you bring all of you to the front of the room. When you bring your heart, your soul, your empathy for those in your audience to the stage. As well as your warts and flaws and pratfalls.


Do you do more than prepare? Do you do more than show up? Do you do more than deliver the body. Are you present with your body, with your mind with your spirit. And are you present with your warts, your flaws, your human frailties.


Did you ever consider the significance of this? Because it’s such a gift to your audience. Your warts, your flaws and your human inadequacies don’t make you better. Not at all.


And they do make you human. They allow you to reach your audiences as human. As a flawed human yet as a valuable human none-the-less.


Speaking of flaws, think of recent presidents of the United States of America:

Reagan with his never-ending notes reminding him of what to say. Bush, the father, and his decision to not finish off Saddam when he was at Baghdad’s gates in force. Clinton and his disgraceful morals and untruths. Bush, the son, and his ride-em-cowboy, shoot-from-the-hip approach to the world stage.

Flawed humans, all. And each in his own way doing what he felt was his best job leading his country.

Mind you, I don’t say flaunt your flaws. I don’t say wave your warts in the breeze. And I don’t say feature your frailties. I do say you’re worthy anyway. Because you can still go on and deliver value to those you serve. Lots of value.


Who among us speakers doesn’t have a story that they, red-faced and embarrassed, want to sweep under the rug? Who hasn’t committed a goof-up they would just as soon be forgotten.

For example, I once showed up in the right city but the wrong State to present a program. The right city but the wrong State! How can anybody be so stupid? Well I proved to be so:

I flew in to Burlington, Vermont at 10:00 PM one night. I called the Howard Johnson to see if they furnished transportation from the airport to their property. When I looked them up in the phone book I discovered they were in the wrong area code.

Not all that dumb, I quickly deduced that they weren’t in the wrong Area Code. I was.

The story of how I was awake virtually all night making frantic phone calls to the seminar company I then spoke for–scrambling to get air transportation very early in the morning–somehow showed up in the seminar room in the right city in the right State–with bare minutes to spare–and then delivered a fine program despite short sleep and personal tension –has regaled dozens of audiences in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, England, Canada, and the USA for nearly 20 years.


Summing up:  Let the authentic you show up. Show up. Show up with your assets and your pratfalls, your warts, your flaws . . . and your message. Give your audience your best. Because they will then give you their best. And because you’ll feel so good about you.


I promise you this:  One day the curtain will descend. For the last time. You will have delivered your final program. And you’ll still have many years of life to anticipate. As you sift through your speaking adventures, your friendships, all the places you’ve been, all the stages you’ve been on, all the audiences you’ve been privileged to address, may you feel, paraphrasing Cyrano:

“that you addressed your audiences in your own way, viewed life as it is, cocked your hat where you chose, never spoke a line you hadn’t heard in your own heart, and whatever life offered you, flowers, weeds, even thorns, you gathered them in the one garden you could call your own.”

Actions To Take:

Your first action to be a paid speaker and start creating your own speaking adventures for yourself . . .

Top Shelf: Go here

Mid-range: Go here

Budget Delight: Go here


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