Why it’s OK for speakers to ‘put on a persona’

Many believe that intentionally presenting different demeanors based on the occasion is inauthentic, but it’s often the most respectful thing you can do for your audience.

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It’s OK if you have more than one. Different situations call for different demeanors, which is why it’s crucial to become an intentional communicator. Those who are wary of appearing disingenuous might ask: How do I become intentional and not lose my authenticity ?

In other words, if I start to show up with a certain demeanor, won’t that be fake in some sense? Sometimes, the question gets asked this way: “If I rehearse too much, I’ll become stiff and not-in-the-moment. I shouldn’t rehearse too much, right?”

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Working to control one’s behavior can appear artificial, yet we revere people who are cool in a crisis. We admire those who pull off a high-stakes meeting without showing their nerves or who stay confident throughout a difficult period in their lives. We never say to the entrepreneur, “How fake of you to persevere and stay confident in front of your suppliers even though you knew you were struggling to make payroll.”

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