What Does It Mean to Be Authentic?

If you’ve followed me for a while, you know I often talk about being authentic. Being authentic on stage, being authentic on video, being yourself. This is what we're going to talk about today.

But what does it really mean to be authentic?

We see us one way. Our friends see us a different way. Our clients see us a third way. While the world around sees us a completely different way based on our social media presence. What does it mean to be truly yourself?

If you prefer audio only, you can listen to the full episode on my podcast below or on iTunes.

One of my favorite speakers and TV personalities is Gary Vaynerchuk. I follow him religiously. I absolutely love his videos and all the content he's putting out there. Gary is definitely a prime example of being himself, of always being authentic, and being true to who he is. He says what he thinks, he always creates content based on what's in his heart and what's on his mind, and he hammers the same messages over and over, not because he wants to repeat himself, but because that's authentically who he is. So to me, Gary is a prime example of somebody who is being genuine.

However, you see different facets of Gary Vee when he talks to different types of people. It doesn't mean that he changes his personality and he's no longer being authentic. He is, however, adjusting his genuine self to his audience. For example, if he's giving a talk in front of a group of entrepreneurs, he's going to be one type of Gary. If he's having a chat with a group of young entrepreneurs who are 9, 10, 11 years old, he's going to be a different Gary. His core message is going to be the same and his core self is going to be the same. But he's going to adjust his personality slightly to reflect the audience that's in front of him.

Being authentic doesn't mean that you project an image in which you try to appear smarter and more compassionate, for example. That's not it. Being authentic means that you look inside of you and you pull out the best version of you. It's the smartest, the most compassionate you. Not somebody else's version of what a smart and compassionate you should look like. Instead it's what you have inside yourself. That's your authentic self. Then you adjust that to the audience you're talking to so that you’re being the most appropriate version of you for the conversation that you are having.

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