finding a more authentic, playful life --- finding your story

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

How to become an office superhero

I just finished teaching four days of presentation skills through improv and authenticity training.

To accountants.

Oi. :)

They started off skeptical. Completely. Skeptical. "There's a certain way things are done. There's a "company" way of presenting. Who was I to tell them otherwise, anyway?"

But my job was to help them be more authentically themselves and use that same newly discovered authenticity in their internal and external speeches. But as it stood now, there was no speech or speaker, there was only powerpoint and graphs and bullet points. There was no cohesion. No story. No sense of self.

They were afraid: What if higher-ups or potential clients didn't like who they really were? What if they thought they were 'unprofessional'? What if they failed? Good Lord, what if they failed? A questions we ask ourselves all the time. What if I fail? "If I am my authentic self, what if someone doesn't like it? Doesn't like me? And what if that person is important in my life -- like a boss or a spouse? Yikes. Scary indeed.

Being authentic is always a risk. But being who you are sets you apart from the pack. It actually makes you who you are. Being who you are is what no one else can do. Being who you are makes you happy and successful. Anything else is living a lie. And who wants to do that?

And when you bring that--that sense of authentic self-- to a speech or a presentation or a conversation. Jinkys! A miracle occurs!

Everyone presented a speech at beginning of the first day and the same speech, revamped, at the end of the last day. Transformation occurred.

Speeches that I could not even begin to wrap my brain around on day one suddenly made sense. People who I thought must be so miserable in their daily lives, suddenly came to life and were fully realized people standing in front of me. I listened. I was engaged---on topics I have no interest in!! Their authenticity brought about my presence. In other words, their realness brought about mine. We were alive again, in communication. Possibility existed.

This is what happens when you risk showing your authentic self: truth, engagement, connection.

Heck, you may even become an office superhero!