What’s the best way to get noticed, get into the up-and-comer pipeline and start to win more leadership roles earlier? Start by fast tracking your communication skills now—don’t wait for that big opportunity to project confidence and polish up your presence.
1. Speak with Purpose and Vocal Conviction
Women can boost their authority with their voices. The three key areas to consider are pitch, projection and pace.
2. Skip the Filler Words!
Like, um, uh, ya know, actually, just, so, honestly, truly, literally… the list goes on and on.
3. Own Your Space
Show that you own the room by taking up more physical space. Use purposeful gestures that take up space and draw attention to key content points.
4. Be Direct
Get straight to the main point. Then, be brief, be bright, and be gone.
5. Bottom Line Up Front
Find the lead of your story. Boil everything down to just one thing. Often, it’s a challenge, but you have to choose just one main idea and ruthlessly edit the rest.
6. Lead with Warmth
Women have an opportunity to leverage warmth and trust to connect with individuals. Leading with warmth and connection is a different brand of leadership than men traditionally use.
7. Open Conversations for Discovery
Including all viewpoints and perspectives is a core strength that women can leverage in times of discovery. Economists have found that women are more collaborative than men.
8. Be unapologetic.
Saying “I’m sorry” too frequently doesn’t come across as overly polite. Instead, it weakens your overall message and presence.
9. Separate your reaction from the response.
Women often get cast as “too emotional” when they don’t separate their reaction from their response. Too often, our reactions are not influential in the way we want them to be. When we react, we jump to an emotional conclusion, triggering anger, disappointment, resentment, frustration or something else.
10. Step up. Don’t defer to someone else! Giving away the opportunity to speak, lead a meeting or present your work only gives away your power. Seize the opportunity to let your behaviors and content shine. Visibility leads to more opportunities.
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