Public Speaking Tip 5: Be Yourself

In late 2011, I was privileged to work with two outstanding young people who were being honored by the Robin Hood Foundation: Mutiya Vision and Delkys Ortiz Pena.

Last week, I came across this video of the presentation Delkys gave following our sessions; and WOW! am I proud to have contributed to his success.

In Great Public Speaking, What You See is What You Get

The person you see here is the exact same young man I worked with — modest and thoughtful, with dignity and gravitas far beyond his years.

In other words, Delkys stepped up to show his real self to this high-profile, awards-show audience, confident in the knowledge that authenticity was the greatest gift he could give them.

Being Yourself Doesn’t Mean Giving Up Your Boundaries

Notice that Delkys didn’t “tell all.”

He declined, for instance, to explain what happened on the night that his father “went too far” — even though I thought that he should.

He also declined to embellish points, or go for an easy sense of drama. Instead, he told as much of his story as was right for him, in his own way, in his own style.

Most of all, Delkys showed respect for his story and his audience. Because of that, his understated speech was inspiring, and gripped their attention.

When you speak as yourself, your story will be gripping, too.
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  • D.S.

    A wonderful presentation, and story!