So much of what passes for communication training these days is focused on making you appear as something you’re not. With apologies to J.K. Rowling, we call this approach “the dark arts of communication.” Public speaking and presentation skills courses are among the biggest offenders.
Many people leave some of these courses feeling like they’ve just been taught how to act. Hit your mark. Make the correct gesture at the correct moment. Say your lines with great affect.
People feel uncomfortable during these public speaking courses. They will certainly feel uncomfortable afterwards when they are next asked to “perform.” They will fear that people will see them as being phony. They are probably right.