Being your authentic self on stage is a desire, yet an oxymoron

Authentic : true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character; is sincere and authentic with no pretensions. – Merriam Webster

Oxymoron : something (such as a concept) that is made up of contradictory or incongruous elements. – Merriam Webster

In the process of creating my Authentic Public Speaker course, I did a lot of surveys and interviews with entrepreneurs just like you about what they truly desired in a public speaking course.

By far, the most important thing to them was that they wanted to be authentic.

Woman scratching head

I scratched my head at that.
How could I teach entrepreneurs how to convert their speeches into paying clients if they did not want to change anything?

Then it dawned on me – What they thought they wanted was a magic speech structure that would instantly get them clients at the end of their talk.

From my experience, I knew that what they really needed was a system to help them understand what behaviors were showing up in them that would attract or repel their audience.

Want versus need is always an interesting, mind-blowing discovery.

In order to understand why people wanted to be authentic, I had to dig deep inside myself and find out why I would want that, too.

I asked myself:
Do I want to be my authentic self, too?
What part of me would I keep, and what part did I need to change?
What part of me did I need to find and bring to the stage?
What part of me was I hiding that my audience really wanted to experience?

Because if I had stayed my authentic self, I would have had to quit public speaking and my dream career because I was a terrible presenter.

I had a great structure for my speech. After all, I had paid a lot of money to several well-known trainers to teach me a structure.

But what I didn’t get help with was my stress behaviors that were showing up on stage. Those ugly, dark shadows that lurked in silence and reared their ugly heads whenever I was stressed.

Critical cartoon

Fear, anger, resentment, jealousy, significance, uncertainty, shyness – all the ugliness showed up, all at once, in that slice of a moment whenever I tried to deliver a presentation.

All of this caused me, as well as my fellow speakers, to not be able to remember critical parts of our speeches. We would not be in flow and found ourselves stumbling all over our words. This caused us to feel like we were not the authority and expert, had not right to be in front of these people and made us feel like a fraud.

Not one person in my audiences was interested in learning more, let alone buying from me.

Why would I want to continue to show up on stage from that place?
Behaviors are tricky and predictable. Behaviors that we learned as children are still carried into our adulthood long after we “grow up”.

The good news is, all those negative behaviors were learned – and that means I could unlearn them.

Authentic Public Speaker Online Course Creation Survey

A few years ago…

I was at an event being organized by a dear friend of mine. She was teaching from the stage about her business.
This event was held in a ballroom of a very nice hotel with about 100 people in attendance.
One thing she also does is to invite well-known respected speakers and presenters to share her stage so that they can present to the audience a possible opportunity to work with them.

I always try to go to these types of events to study and learn even more from professional speakers.
There was one particular speaker that I wanted to hear. In the past he had always been dynamic and would present great information. I sat in the front row; I didn’t want to miss a thing.
This time, I was sadly disappointed. His entire 45-minute speech was all about the program he was selling.

Tye Dyed shirtHe showed up wearing an outlandish tie-dyed shirt, with torn designer jeans and a huge decorative necklace. Since he was on a 4-foot riser stage. everyone also noticed his colorful alligator cowboy boots. In another environment his style of dress and appearance would have been appropriate and even admired.

He totally did NOT understand the needs and culture (entrepreneurial business owners) of the audience.
With all of this visual distraction going on, I knew I couldn’t focus on his presentation, and neither could most of the audience.

I sensed that he knew he was not getting in touch with the audience, because after about 10 minutes, he started to act out of significance. You know the type. All they can talk about is themselves and their accomplishments.

After another 15 minutes, his behavior turned to desperation. The audience was not buying his pitch at all.
He became frantic at the end, because when he began asking the audience questions about signing up for his program, all you could hear was crickets.

It got really ugly at this point as he began to point at people in the audience and blatantly tell them they needed to sign up.

With all of this distraction going on, it’s no wonder no one signed up for his program.
It’s too bad; his program was probably very good. I myself am certified in what he was selling, so I knew the value of learning it.

The big problem was that he himself showed up from a place of fear. This stressed him out. His particular behavior that showed up, when he is stressed, is being significant. Then, when that doesn’t work, he gets desperate and frantic and becomes a bully.
Can you see how his childhood patterns showed up on the stage?

It took me over 10 years to get to the point of seeing how my destructive negative human behavior can be onstage.

Why did it take so long? I didn’t know what I didn’t know.
In my ‘off the stage’ real life, I am really magnetic and full of charisma. People tell me that. I make friends easy and have a quirky sense of humor that people enjoy.

But as soon as I go on stage, most of that beautifully authentic behavior disappeared.

Question MarkI began to ask myself different kinds of questions to drill down to the core reasons for this.
The results were so profound that I used those same questions and re-worked them for you.

“What would have to happen for your beautiful authentic behaviors to show up all the time, even when you are stressed?”

‘What do you need to be aware of that causes your stress, that if you eliminated it, that would change everything?”

“What if I got some help from someone who could see who I was at my core?”
“What if that trusted person could see what I was blind to?”
“What if I made some changes (scary) in who I was at my core?”
“What would happen if I showed up as my true authentic “New and Improved” self?”

This was a huge, life-changing, aha moment for me.
Because I had tried to make these changes in my past and thought I had done a pretty good job at it. But, (there’s the but) I struggled with keeping the negative pieces of me off the stage.

I truly wanted to be my authentic self in front of others, yet when I was speaking, people would be repelled by my words and attitude.

What would it be like for you to experience peace in front of your audience?
To be able to deliver your message that would automatically build rapport and have your audience get to know, love and trust you?

Knowing in your heart and soul that you are showing up as your true authentic “New and Improved” self.

How do you do that? You really only have three choices:

1. Reflect on what behaviors are showing up when you are stressed. Journal about them. Meditate. Pray.
Good practices, but could take a long time.
We don’t know what we don’t know.

2. Ask your family, friends, co-workers. Be careful, because these groups of people normally don’t want you to improve, because when you improve, they fear you will either want to change them or leave them.
How do you feel when someone criticizes and places judgments on you? Even when we ask them to do it, we can feel resentment and will reject the well-meaning help.

3. Find a sensitive trained professional that will be able to love you enough to see that you grow. Someone who will be there with you for the long haul and believe in your success more than you do.
Someone who knows how to give proper feedback so that you will be motivated to improve.

By now, you may be seeing that being your authentic self truly is an oxymoron.
When you are stressed, all kinds of negative behaviors will show up.

I’m going to repeat myself here:
What would it be like for you to experience peace in front of your audience?
To be able to deliver your message that would automatically build rapport and have your audience get to know, love and trust you?

Johnnie Speaking To Large Group

Johnnie Speaking

I desperately wanted that and I found a way.
Created a system that I still use personally today every time I get on stage.

I’ve been sharing it with my individual private clients and at local workshops for over 2 years now with amazing results.

Now I want to help even more people. People like you who desire the same thing that I wanted.

As I write this I am in the process of developing my online Authentic Speaker Training program called Speeches that Convert.

Would you like to be part of the launch process?

If you did not have the chance to answer the easy yet comprehensive survey that I created just for you.

Click Here: APS Online Course Creation Survey

As a thank you for helping out you will be one of the first to receive special launch pricing for Speeches that Convert.

Your responses and feedback will help with the development and design of the course so that it is a perfect fit for you and others like you.

Again, Here is the APS Online Course Creation Survey  

Blessings,
Johnnie Urban
Wonderful life Learning Intl.
Authentic Public Speaker

Johnnie Urban

P.S. If you feel that this information has been of value to you I bet you have some entrepreneurial friends or partners who would also love it. Go ahead and foreword it to them.

Who is driving the Bus?

I was coaching a client the other day about how frustrated she was about what a difficult week she was having. Her day would start out good but then, no matter what she did, within hours she was a mess. She would get stuck in traffic, be late for work and appointments, and forget her lunch at home; her co-workers were mean, and her son was constantly texting with a problem. By two p.m., she was overwhelmed, exhausted, and ready to call it quits for the third day in a row.

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Blessings

At this point I was saying, “thank God.” If she had not had her terrible three days, then she wouldn’t be ready to learn from it all. We got together just in time to stop the madness of her spiraling up and down.

Through our conversation, I was able to quickly gather from her enough information to determine that she was choosing helplessness to drive her bus.

The bus is a metaphor that I use for our life and how we operate in our waking hours, minutes, and even seconds. Yes, seconds, because you and I both know that decisions and change can be made in a heartbeat.

This single mom is smart, energetic, and strong. Sometimes those are great attributes and sometimes they are heavy weights to bear.

Shadows of Expectations

When an Highly Sensitive Person is not allowing themselves/herself to be vulnerable and ask for help, then all those people around her have expectations about her. What can you expect, we trained them well, didn’t we? Yet, when HSPs are tired from not enough sleep or proper nutrition or time to themselves, then you can only guess what could happen.

The shadow of “not allowing others to see you weak” takes over and is allowed to drive the bus of your life.

We all have a bus that holds all the parts of us, and the bus has to have a driver. From the moment we wake up in the morning to bedtime, the bus is humming along through our day taking us wherever we need to go.

My client was starting her day off with the “responsible” driver that quickly changed to “frustrated” driver when she arrived late for work. As an HSP, she did not want to feel shame for being late so she let the helpless injured “please don’t hurt me” person drive the bus. When her coworkers and boss didn’t feel sorry for her, she labeled them as being mean.

What came next was her son constantly interrupting her “wounded” driver with requests to rescue him from his problems. She is torn between being a strong Mom to being a wounded HSP. A recipe for overwhelm and exhaustion.

Perfect day for a new beginning

Fortunately, we get to choose who is driving the bus at any given time. Sometimes it’s not going to be easy but my hope is that with the information that I have provided in this book, you will begin to know that there is hope for you and anyone else that you know who is Highly Sensitive.

Johnnie Urban
Strategic Interventionist
Coaching Highly Sensitive People Hoe To Thrive In A Chaotic World
www.EverythingHSP.com
714-403-9256