6 Qualities of Authentic Public Speakers and Presenters

woman presenting on microphone


What are the characteristics of authentic public speakers and presenters?

Whether you’re talking about leadership, public speaking or culture, authenticity seems to be the buzzword of the day.

In a society which sometimes seems almost numb from chasing success, security and sanity, many people are more discerning when it comes to experiencing authenticity.

What characteristics do authentic public speakers have in common?

1. Self-awareness

Many people believe that authenticity is just, ‘being yourself’.

The question is, how many of us know our ‘true self’?

Authenticity in public speaking requires a high level of self-awareness.

It extends, but is not exclusive to knowing our:

– Own personal values

– Strengths and weakness as speakers

– Limiting beliefs

– Personal impact on others

– Hopes and aspirations

– Fears and worries

– Who and what helped make us who we are today

Healthy self-awareness helps us to stay calm and focused

It allows us to be a little vulnerable and let people see what makes us tick.

It’s not very wise investing all of our energy in trying to understand our audience when we haven’t done our homework on ourselves first.

2. Security

I’m not talking about how much money you have, how big your home is or your status at work.

I’m referring to the security that comes from knowing and believing that you are no better or worse than any one else

It comes from knowing that:

– Everyone is working hard to do their best and to be the best they possibly can.

– Whilst we are each unique, we are paradoxically all the same.

– We can relax in the awareness that no one is really trying to judge us or trip us up, they simply need our help, just as we need theirs.

3. Selflessness

The presentations you’ve attended that you’ve not only enjoyed the most but also taken the most from, are probably because the presenter made it all about you, not them.

When you think of the best leaders you have personally worked with, its exactly the same thing. You admire and respect them because they have done their best to help you.

Authentic public speakers put their audience first.

4. Honesty

In an article I wrote for smartbrief.com called ‘The 4 presentation attributes every leader needs,’ I referred to some brilliant leadership research by James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner.

The research  was conducted over a 20-year span,

More than 75,000 people, across six continents said that the top 4 leadership characteristics they want from leaders are:


Forward Looking



I believe that is exactly what audiences want from authetic public speakers too.

5. Emotional

Many professionals believe that being professional means you have to operate entirely from intellect.

Human beings are emotional creatures. That’s how and why we live, to feel things.

Can you imagine what the world would be like if everything was linear, logical and intellectual.

Authentic public speakers express their feelings

Attaining an intellectual understanding is arguably easy in most business presentations. It’s a much greater challenge to connect with an audience emotionally.

6. Mindful

Your audience want you fully in the room with them:

– Physically

– Mentally

– Intellectually

– Emotionally

– Spiritually

 They want you to be fully present, aware and in tune with them

We can all become more:

– Self aware

– Secure

– Selfless

– Honest

– Emotional

– Mindful

If you’d like to develop the qualities of authentic public speakers:

– Book yourself onto a powerful public speaking course.

– Invest in some really good one to one public speaking coaching.

– Get yourself some excellent presentation training

Image courtesy of Canva.com







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