By Sheri Kaye Hoff, MA, CGCL, World-Renowned Life Coach, Author & College Professor

As a woman speaker, people resonate with you when you are being the authentic you. They want to connect with the real you including your strengths, weaknesses, mistakes, victories.

People know authentic when they see it and experience it. It is tempting and comfortable to try to minimize the challenges or pain because you somehow want to show only the strong part of yourself. And there is a place for this (if I am going into battle, I want a strong, fearless leader… even if there is some fear inside… in that moment… I don’t want to see the fear). But most of the time in life, when you, as a speaker, are willing to be vulnerable and share your true self, connections happen and opportunities increase.

For many years I resisted telling my authentic story because it was very painful. I lost my younger brother when he was 15 and he took his own life. I also reasoned that on a professional level, most people did not even know about that part of my life.

However, I found when I began to share the pain of this experience and the victory of overcoming terrible grief and moving forward into happiness and success, my life seemed to click into place. I was able to reach and help people on a completely new level.

I encourage you to write out your story in your journal. When reading it, ask yourself, Where is the lesson that I can share? How can this story help people? You may end up tweaking your story several times before it feels right. You do not need a “tragedy to triumph” story, it simply needs to be your unique story.

Sharing your authentic “I” story in your speaking career creates a powerful catalyst for change for your audience.

Sheri Kaye Hoff, MA, CGCL, is Your Inspired Action Success Coach. She is a world-renowned Life Coach, Amazon and Barnes & Noble Author, and College Professor. She is an internationally popular radio show guest and is the host of her own podcast on itunes.