Walk and Talk Like a Leader.

Posted by on Jul 15, 2014 in Leadership | Comments Off on Walk and Talk Like a Leader.

Are You Perceived as Credible?  

Do you speak in public or give presentations? Do you want to influence your boss, peers, customers or your staff? If you answered yes, don’t underestimate the importance of leadership presence when it comes to influencing others. An important component of leadership presence is credibility.  One way to build credibility is to demonstrate trustworthiness and expertise over time. Unfortunately, sometimes you need to be credible in situations where people don’t really know you. There are some simple ways to build credibility.

Leadership Presence Can Make or Break Your Credibility 

All behaviors including emotions are made up of three parts working together. If you want to project credibility shift your physiology, your mental focus and your language.  I was working with a leader wanting to improve her credibility. As a stellar individual performer with solid expertise in marketing, her recommendations were successful and profitable for her clients and her organization. She was frequently required to make highly visible presentations to customers and upper management.

Unfortunately when she spoke her voice tone was high and cracked with anxiety. Her gestures were all over the place and her posture was not symmetrical. Her leadership presence lacked credibility and it was preventing her from getting clients and upper management to accept her ideas. She was also not getting the recognition and promotion she wanted. With a few shifts she has successfully improved her leadership presence and was promoted.

Ways to Cultivate Credibility: 
Try these simple shifts in physiology, mental focus and language to enhance your credibility:

  1. Credibility has a look and sound. Shift your physiology by lowering your chin which will also result in lowering your voice tone. Keep your head, hand gestures and body symmetrical and don’t let them move around too much. Get a sense of it by watching the evening news or  politicians.
  2. Look confident and self-assured. Before you begin speaking say to yourself some word or phrase that puts you in the right state of mind. Before every speech, President Kennedy’s speech consultant, Dorothy Sarnoff, would have the President say to himself, “I know what I know.”
  3. Don’t assume you have any credibility especially when influencing people who don’t know you. No matter your positional authority or perceived reputation there can always be a skeptic or two in the crowd. Once you have presented your idea, use the language of invitation and suggestion, such as: “Think about it and decide for yourself.”

If you want to increase your leadership presence, you might consider using these techniques the next time the stakes are high.  But don’t take my word for it, please give it a try, because only you can decide what works for your unique situation. If you want to learn more please contact me for a free 30 minute consultation.