Is it okay for a corporate executive to be folksy? Well, heck yeah, it is!

There is no right or wrong for a speaker’s individual style except authentic versus inauthentic. If an executive has a folksy style and has risen to the top of an organization, then there is something – or a lot of things – about his or her style that works. And it probably works because it’s authentic, it’s true to who that person is. And it’s probably very appealing, authenticity is very appealing.

Being real is so important. Trying to adopt a persona that isn’t real, isn’t authentic, just won’t work. Audiences see right through it, and it can affect levels of respect, trust and credibility. It’s just not worth the risk, so be who you are. If you’re folksy, go with it … but, of course, tighten it up! Know your audience, job, and win. Get your stories (and we know that if you’re folksy, you’ve got some stories!) organized so that they support your point, have a strong open and close, and you’re off!

Beth Levine