Authenticity Matters: What Brian Williams Can Teach Us About Authentic Presentations

February 11, 2015

At SquarePlanet, we’re passionate about bold and exciting presentations! We teach our clients to do things differently, to reach out and grab the audience with stories—as long as those stories are true.

The recent suspension of NBC’s Nightly News anchor and managing editor, Brian Williams, has confirmed one thing in our world:


We say it all the time to our clients: Be true to what you believe and don’t be a phony! This is a prime example illustrating why it’s so important not to cheat your audience. As you’ve probably already heard, Williams admitted to making false claims related to events which occurred during his coverage of the Iraq War back in 2003. If you haven’t heard, The New York Times has a great video recounting the events.

Brian Williams is in fact a presenter—an excellent storyteller and communicator. This is why over 9-million people tune in to have him deliver their nightly news. He earns a $13-million salary to deliver unbiased, accurate, and truthful information to his viewers. His recent flub will cost him 6 months of air-time, $6,499,999.99, and most importantly—his reputation.

As a presenter, your reputation is on the line too. Lying is never a good idea, but it’s equally important to spread your message in a way that is truly you. It’s your duty to be authentic, and you’re selfish when you’re not. Williams initially reported the truth, which is admirable. Then, 10 years later he lied about his involvement. For 2 more years he continued to dupe people into thinking that he was involved in an attack at war that never actually involved him. From an interview on Letterman to public acknowledgments of his experience, Williams presented himself as a battle-tested celebrity of sorts, not as a journalist. For what? Himself? Selfish. Credibility gone. Reputation tarnished.

[bctt tweet=”The second your message isn’t you, or isn’t true, you’ll lose your audience. #PresentationSkills”]

An audience can spot when you’re full of it, and that could cost you a pitch, a customer, heck even your whole company depending on the situation. You owe it to them to own your message and communicate it honestly, with full confidence. The second it isn’t you, or isn’t true, you’ll lose them.

The Bottom Line

Be authentic with your presentation message. You’re forming a relationship with your audience and when you break their trust, everything you have to offer loses value. Think of your presentation as a gift to you’re audience—It’s called a PRESENTation after all. Make sure you take the time and care to give your audience the authentic gift they deserve by being truly you.

Help us share this message with the world! Pick your favorite social media network from the bar at the left and blast away! If you need help with your presentation message, we’re just a quick email away!

[x_author title=”Who Wrote This Masterpiece?”]


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