Do you always project your true self to your audience?
Your audience could be any group of people to whom you’re delivering a presentation. It could be your clients at a face-to-face meeting. It could be the public who are the recipients of your branding. It could be your family over the dinner table.
It’s amazing how many people don’t project their authentic self when communicating their message. Many people often speak, look or act differently when they speak. They suddenly sound like a Shakespearean actor!
So often, people create a false persona rather than being the best version of themselves.
The same is reflected in our businesses. A recent survey showed that 78% of people don’t believe that brands are open an honest. Only 25% of people believe that brands do as promised.
Authenticity goes a long way. In fact, authenticity is one of the secrets of both business and personal success.
Let’s get real here. Don’t you get a sense when someone is not being completely honest with you? If you don’t pick it up in the beginning, you eventually do.
What are your long term goals? Where do you want to be in ten years time? How do you want people to perceive you? You will only have the same friends, customers, and relationships if you project your real self. If you’re honest in your communication.
So what is honesty?
It’s a two part process:
First the ‘say’ part of the process. We tell people what we intend to do. We make it clear in our communication. We project clear messages. We are ourselves, and not the Shakespearean version! We’re honest in projecting our true selves.
Next is the ‘do’ part of the process. We follow up. We do what we say we’re going to do. We meet the expectations of our words. People may have short memories, but not if we’ve caused them harm. The pain of dishonesty lasts a long time. Regaining that trust takes a lot of effort.
But what if you can’t follow through on your promise? What if circumstances beyond your control stop you from making good on what you told your audience?
Then that has to be communicated to them. Be honest. Tell people why things went south. People are surprisingly forgiving when we open up and tell them what went wrong. Often they’ll even be sympathetic. Honesty goes a long way.
If we fail to deliver, then we need to make amends, and do our best to over deliver next time. This helps mend the relationship.
So what about you? Are you honest in your communication? Are you really you? Or a constructed version of yourself?
Leave acting to the actors.
The best person you can be is you!