What is Authentic Speaking and Why is it Important?

By Michael Sammut

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Authentic speaking refers to communicating transparently and honestly expressing one’s thoughts and emotions without fearing being judged or rejected.

Authentic speaking brings about the congruence between our words, body language and tone of voice; and builds meaningful relationships, establishes trust, and fosters innovation.

Let’s explore the characteristics of authentic speaking, its benefits, and how to develop this crucial communication skill.

Characteristics of Authentic Speaking

  1. Honesty and Transparency: Authentic speaking requires individuals to communicate truthfully and transparently. Any form of deceit or manipulation will be “read” subconsciously by the audience. Learn to express your thoughts and emotions without fear of judgment or rejection.
  2. Genuine Emotion and Connection: Authentic speaking involves communicating with heartfelt emotion and connecting with the audience. It requires individuals to express their thoughts and feelings in a way that makes a human connection with the audience.
  3. Active Listening: Active listening by the speaker involves paying close attention to the listeners’ questions and watching for nonverbal cues.
  4. Flexibility and Adaptability: Authentic speaking requires individuals to be flexible and adaptable to different situations and contexts – adjust your communication style to suit the needs of your audience.
  5. Clarity and Conciseness: Authentic speaking involves communicating clearly and concisely. Use simple language that your audience understands to avoid confusion and misunderstandings.

Benefits of Authentic Speaking

  1. Builds Trust and Credibility: Authentic speaking builds trust and credibility, which is crucial in building meaningful relationships. When individuals speak authentically, they establish trust and reliability that can strengthen their personal and professional relationships.
  2. Enhances Relationships: Authentic speaking fosters more profound connections with others by allowing individuals to express their thoughts and emotions meaningfully. This can lead to stronger and more fulfilling relationships.
  3. Increases Engagement and Participation: Authentic speaking encourages engagement and participation by creating an open and inclusive environment, thus fostering a sense of community and collaboration.
  4. Fosters Innovation and Creativity: Authentic speaking encourages creativity and innovation by promoting open and collaborative communication. When individuals feel comfortable expressing their ideas and thoughts, it can lead to new and innovative solutions to problems.
  5. Improves Personal and Professional Development: Authentic speaking can also help individuals develop personally and professionally. Individuals can enhance their leadership and interpersonal skills by becoming more self-aware and confident in communication.

How to Develop Authentic Speaking Skills

  1. Identify Your Communication Style: Understanding your communication style can help you identify areas for improvement and develop more authentic speaking skills. Recognize your strengths and weaknesses and learn to communicate naturally and authentically.
  2. Practice Active Listening: Active listening involves paying close attention to the listeners’ questions and responding with interest. Noticing nonverbal cues given by audience can help the speaker stay on track.
  3. Build Confidence and Self-Awareness: Developing confidence and self-awareness is crucial for authentic speaking. Be comfortable expressing your thoughts and emotions and being aware of how you come across to others.
  4. Embrace Vulnerability and Authenticity: Authentic speaking requires individuals to embrace vulnerability and authenticity, which means being honest and transparent about their thoughts and emotions. While challenging, but can lead to deeper connections and more meaningful communication.
  5. Seek Feedback and Constructive Criticism: Seeking feedback and constructive criticism from others can help you improve your communication skills and become a more authentic speaker. Be open to feedback and use it to improve your communication style.

Overcoming Barriers to Authentic Speaking

  1. Fear of Judgment and Rejection: Fear of judgment and rejection can be a significant barrier to authentic speaking. Overcoming this fear requires developing self-confidence and a willingness to be vulnerable and authentic.
  2. Lack of Self-Confidence: Lack of self-confidence can also hinder authentic speaking. Building self-confidence involves recognizing your strengths and accomplishments and focusing on your positive attributes.
  3. Cultural and Language Barriers: Cultural and language barriers can also make it challenging to communicate authentically. It is essential to be aware of cultural differences and to communicate in a way that is respectful and inclusive.
  4. Difficulty in Expressing Emotions: Difficulty expressing emotions can also be a barrier to authentic speaking. Practice active listening and develop self-awareness and emotional intelligence.
  5. Resistance to Change and Vulnerability: Resistance to change and vulnerability can also make it challenging to develop authentic speaking skills. Overcoming this resistance requires stepping outside your comfort zone and taking risks in your communication.

Conclusion

Authentic speaking causes a coordination of words, non-verbal cues and vocal presence that is detectable by the audience. It is essential to help individuals build meaningful relationships, establish trust, and foster innovation.

By developing the characteristics of authentic speaking, individuals can enhance their personal and professional development and overcome barriers to effective communication.

Individuals can communicate more effectively and create deeper connections by embracing vulnerability and authenticity.

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