There's great demand for authenticity today. The discussion about authenticity was probably started by existentialist philosophers, and then was echoed by the fringe self-help movement of the 1960s and 1970s, and gradually drifted to the mainstream. Positive psychologists are now designing authenticity questionnaires, Oprah is dedicating her shows to the topic, and there's even a book called Authenticity: What Consumers Really Want, which has sold well. There are many reasons for the interest in authenticity and most of them were beautifully summed by a game designer Jesse Schell exclaiming emotionally in one of his presentations:
We're living in a bubble of fake bullsh*t!
Consumers and audiences want more authentic stuff. It is true that authenticity is becoming a new buzzword in business, much like excellence or passion before. But I think this one goes deeper. Once a purely marketing gizmo (“authentic leather trim”), authenticity is now more about the overall strategy, about the values and mission, about doing what we love, about hiring the right people and working with the right clients. This affects marketing, PR, and HR communications, both internal and external. This affects presentations. The audience now demands for the speaker to be “authentic.” But what on Earth does that mean?
Authenticity in presentations is mostly about being true to yourself, looking natural and, in the end, practicing what you preach. It is about believing in what you're saying. ...