Being Natural Is Not Scripted

As I have gotten older, I have grown to love food. The exploration of new dishes and combination of flavors is intoxicating. In the past because of my severe food allergy to anything and everything dairy, food has not always been my friend. Food posed a threat and survival of the fittest kept me away. Enter the Food Network. Yes, people still cook with butter and heavy cream, but curiosity is getting the best of me and I am trying to adapt four-star cuisine and have a bit of fun in a kitchen that used to be the most unused location in the house.

So naturally, as I have been watching Ina and Paula dole out their famous dishes, I have become fascinated with the Next Food Network Star. Not a huge fan of reality programming, but the drama and food have kept my interest for three seasons. Any fellow fans out there?

If you haven’t yet watched this Sunday’s episode, do not read any further….spoiler alert.







We read (and write) a lot about being authentic in order to gain the trust and credibility with our communities. Yet people seem to want or feel that they should have a list of rules that tell them how to be authentic and show off their real personalities. If individuals are having such a hard time with this, how do we expect organizations to adapt an authentic tone and experience?

Being real is simple, yet incredibly complex. Authenticity requires showing the various layers of what makes you, well…you! Showing these layers does not equate to you wearing your heart on your sleeve and telling the world your innermost thoughts and secrets. Just seeing glimpses of your character helps others connect with you on various emotional levels and start to really tune into what you are saying and doing. You can’t plan to be natural…you just are.

The Food Network Star finalist, Jyll, found that out this week after she was cut from the competition because she was too scripted and superficial. This week’s episode captured Jyl preparing to be natural on the Rachel Ray show by scripting “realness” into her delivery. The result was a robotic, superficial disaster on camera. Jyll said her POV was to be relatable…maybe…even, she could not decide. Still at the end of the episode, Jyll tried to wrangle her emotions and plastered a smile on her face with a go get ‘em attitude still going strong.

Yes, people want to see you are in control of your own emotional well-being, but to be human is to show our strengths and weaknesses.

A playbook will prepare you and your team with how to respond and engage with your community, but this resource is a guide, not a script. Just as the camera will magnify the superficial, so will online channels. People can see it a mile away. You will not endear yourself with your community, but repel them.

Would you be able to take on the Rachel Ray challenge as the Food Network stars did this past week?

Can you infuse story, do your job and engage with your community simultaneously?

Your community needs to get a sense of who you are and what you stand for as you give them the experience they will remember. If you layer your strengths and weaknesses, you can show more of yourself without revealing too much.

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  • Vedo

    Good questions, Lauren. (We watch the show too.) I think there’s a certain layer of vulnerability that has to come into play that is really hard to fake. You can say all the right things, but humans are hard-wired to pick-up on the communication nuances like non-verbal cues and tone to help decipher meaning in messages. Thanks for the thought-provoking post.


    • Lauren

      Thank you! Vulnerability is difficult to integrate, but when well-executed in an organic way, magic happens.