An excerpt from The Authenticity Code™ by Dr. Sharon Lamm-Hartman

Dr. Sharon Lamm-Hartman is the Founder and CEO of Inside Out Learning, Inc. (IOL), an award‐winning global leadership, team and organization development consulting business. The following is an excerpt from her upcoming book, The Authenticity Code™: The Art and Science of Success and Why You Can’t Fake It to Make It, which helps you understand that the secret to your success lies in being your authentic self. 

Have you ever been spellbound?

By that, I mean, have you ever been so drawn in by someone’s ideas, communication skills, words, gestures, facial expressions—their presence—that you couldn’t take your eyes, or ears, off what they were doing right in front of you?

This has happened to me. More than once. In fact, lots of times. I have been wowed by some of the most remarkable, well-known speakers of all time— Zig Ziglar, Brene Brown, General Colin Powell, Madeleine Albright, and many others.

I’ve also been impressed beyond words by watching and listening to several relatively unknown presenters such as Fariba Amidari, Jade Simmons, and Akeem Iman-Jones.

On the other hand, I have been in situations where I have had to listen to long, boring, unappealing presentations by some of the worst speakers ever. Completely untrained, uninformed, or unprepared. I felt as though my time had been wasted. (Obviously, I won’t call them out by name!)

The fact is, we are always presenting ourselves, whether through formal pitches, informal communications, or interviews for a promotion or an entirely new job. What is the difference between the outstanding, the good, the bad, and the downright dreadful?

There are so many defining factors that even this book—a book focused on professional presence, presentation, and authenticity—can’t bring them all to the forefront. But it does offer a solid beginning.

A few of the elements that easily make or break presenters include the following:

• Sincerity: People can easily tell the difference between “fake” and “real.”

• Preparation: Always do the homework!

• Content: Is it relevant to the audience and the listener’s needs?

• Finishing strong: Is there a clear call to action? Are the decision makers motivated to do something?

• Image and appearance: It’s important to look the part.

• “Owning” the environment: Skilled presenters take charge of the room or interview setting.

• Becoming your “authentic brand”: This is what earns trust! Again, most people can immediately spot a “fake” or “phony.”

• Accepting and dealing with feedback and questions: Does the presenter truly try to meet needs, without getting defensive?

For more than 25 years, I have been focused on helping executives and professionals discover and refine their presence and presentation skills. Achieving that end helps them reach desired business results, gain promotions, get the job they need and want, achieve their desired level of success, and build unwavering confidence.

My underlying reason for writing this book is not to convince you that I have built an effective program. Rather, my purpose is to empower and inspire those readers who, for whatever reason, can’t attend the course. My goal is to provide you with both the encouragement and the tools to become a more effective communicator—and to let your authenticity and your skills speak for you. This book will give you a personal road map to the art and science of your success. I am chasing that objective through what I hope you will find to be an engaging story (or “parable”) packed with simple truths that anyone can apply—and that you can benefit from immediately.

I call this book The Authenticity Code™, because, in the case of in-person and virtual presentations, those who fake it will never make it. Success in any endeavor demands authenticity, and breaking the code requires this formula: Your Presence + Your Audience + Your Presentation = Your Success.

I describe “authenticity” as “your most powerful way of adding value by expressing your unique gifts and talents for your chosen audience.”

Join me on this easy-to-follow journey as I decode the art and science of success with you and for you! My sole goal is to empower you to become your authentic self and achieve your desired level of success.

To learn more, visit insideoutlearning.com.

Dr. Sharon Lamm-Hartman is the Founder and CEO of Inside Out Learning, Inc. (IOL), an award‐winning global leadership, team and organization development consulting business. In addition to running IOL, Dr. Sharon is a global executive and presentation skills coach, leadership and organization development consultant, speaker, writer, educator, wife and mom. She has designed and delivered over 2,000 innovative programs, including many women’s development and executive presence and presentation skills programs. Dr. Sharon has coached thousands of CEOs, executives, educators, professionals, and entrepreneurs worldwide. In her upcoming book, The Authenticity Code™: The Art and Science of Success and Why You Can’t Fake It to Make It, Dr. Sharon helps you understand that the secret to your success lies in being your authentic self.

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