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I recently attended a free teleconference on how to create podcasts.  This seminar was presented by a particular company, and as such was talking all about how to use their specific product to create podcasts.  I was expecting the focus of this seminar to be all about their product, but that still is no excuse for the dude that was the seminar leader.

Man, did that guy have an annoying voice!!!  He sounded like what I would call a quintesential sales guy – he was louder than any normal human usually is, he had the most fake laugh I’ve ever heard, and I was stuck all through the entire call with a vivid picture in my head of him pointing both hands at me with pistol-style fingers, of his hair slicked back, one eyebrow cocked, and big white chicklet teeth flashing in a huge but phoney grin.  Does anyone out there remember the “I’m a Handsome Actor” skit on SNL way back when by Alec Baldwin?  Then you’ve got the right picture in your head.

I’m asking myself why people think that this kind of persona is going to do them any favours.  I’m not kidding, I was annoyed through the entire seminar, and I had a hard time taking anything that this guy said seriously.  He was such a joke!  If he had sounded like a real person I would have been able to identify with him, and I would have been much much more likely to believe that he was giving me some useful information.  Instead, I spent a couple minutes after the call was done in mourning of the hour and a half that I lost while listening to this sales guy.

I urge you to think about authenticity in relation to your business, whether in regards to your speaking voice or your written voice.  Would you listen to yourself speak?  Would you bother to read what you have written?  If you’re not authentic people will notice and you’ll shoot yourself in the foot in the end.

Do as the young folks says nowadays and “keep it real”!