Elizabethkuhnke's Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Executive Presence

Quick Tips from Kuhnke Communication on How to Present Yourself with Confidence:

1.Claim your space. You have the right to be heard and the right to speak. People ask you to speak because they’re interested in getting to know you and hearing what you have to say.

2. Move with purpose. No fiddling with your clothes or fussing with your hair. When you move, make sure your gestures and expressions support and illustrate your message, not detract from it.

3. Connect with your listeners. Before you speak find out about them: their interests, needs, concerns. The more you know about your audience the better able you are to gear your remarks to them.

4. Articulate. No matter how smart you are, how powerful your message, and how compelling your story, if you can’t be understood you might as well send a memo. Warm up your vocal mechanism by going into the ladies room before you speak and do a few horse blows, hums, and tongue twisters to loosen up your vocal mechanism.

5. Resonate. Make sure your message touches your audience and calls them to action. No matter what your subject, leave your listeners thinking about what they’re going to do next. If your speech is about politics, encourage your audience to vote and volunteer. If your speech is about cooking, encourage your listener’s to host a dinner party. Etc.

6. Tell stories and anecdotes. Include examples. Use vivid language, including metaphors and similes.

7. Structure your content. Have a clear introduction (10% of your presentation) no more than 3 main points (The Rule of Three. 70%) and your summary (20%)

8. Speak only when you are looking at your audience. Have your opening and closing remarks memorised. If you need to refer to your notes, pause, look at them, then look up at your audience and speak. They want you to do well. No one wants to see a speaker fail.

9. Breathe from your boots. When you’re nervous the tendency is to breathe from your upper chest, causing you to be top heavy and unbalanced. Stand with your feet placed squarely beneath your hips and shoulders to give you a solid foundation from which to speak.

10. Before you speak, visualise yourself presenting as you want to. Make the picture real. Hear your voice – strong and resonate. See your audience looking at you with pleasure and interest. Feel the energy in your body focused and flowing easily as you make your point. Feel yourself smiling and enjoying the experience. Create the reality you want to achieve.

11. Have fun. If you enjoy what you’re doing, so will your audience.

For more information visit www.kuhnkecommunication.com

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Kuhnke Communication’s Top Tips for How to Get What You Want at Work

1. Understand your listener. Does she seek detail or is she a big picture thinker? Analytical or more of a drama queen? Does she like a bit of social chit chat or does she prefer to get down to business. By knowing her preferred style of communicating you’re able to adapt yours to match hers.

2. Treat your listener with respect. Aim to understand her issues so that you can position your request in a way that supports her and her goals.

3. Find out what matters to the person in charge. When you give someone what she wants, she relaxes and comes on board with you.

4. Know what you want. Often people know what they don’t want and when it comes to asking for what they DO want they struggle. If you struggle, the person holding the power or authority for granting you your wishes will struggle to know what you want, too. If you find it hard to figure out what you want, write down your thoughts. If you can identify what you don’t want, flip the coin and say what you want instead. For example, if you don’t want tension between colleagues rephrase your wording to something like, “I want a buzzy, productive environment where people value and respect one another’s efforts.” Saying what you want focuses your attention and gives you something to aim for. Once you know what you want, you can figure out the necessary steps to get there.

5. Call in favours. People are more inclined to help you if you’ve done something for them. Develop a network of obligation you can call on.

6. Find points of agreement. Listen to what really matters to the person who holds the power. If he’s rejecting your request, find out what lies behind his objection. Emphasise all points of agreement before suggesting a solution that meets their needs and satisfies your own.

7. Find common ground. People who have things in common with you are inclined to grant your request. Find out as much as you can about someone you’re negotiating with so you can establish personal links before making your request.

8. Establish your credibility. You are more likely to get others to respond positively to your requests if they think you’re an expert in your field.

9. Commit to what you want. If you know that you want to work flexible hours, for example, and your company doesn’t have a policy in place, offer to run a feasibility study and report your findings. No one ever said getting what you want would be easy! And if you want something badly enough, then you’ll let nothing, or nobody, get in your way.

10. Prove your worth. If you want to be taken seriously, behave in a serious fashion. Showing up late, handing in sloppy work or spending more time gossiping than being productive makes people think twice before granting your requests.

11. Point out the pain. Research shows that people are more influenced by the idea of losing something than by the idea of gaining the same thing. When you’re making your proposal, point out what the company has to lose if it doesn’t grant your request.

12. Claim your space. If you come across all humble and apologetic, no one’s going to feel inclined to give you what you want. There’s nothing wrong with asserting what you want. Avoid arrogance and apologies and aim for assertiveness.

13. Move with purpose. Pussy footing around, shuffling your feet and playing with your pen endears you to no one. When you’re asking for what you want, look the other person in the eye, tell him what you want and give him time to respond.

14. Be prepared. Have your arguments in place for supporting your request. If you want a raise, for example, be prepared to demonstrate how your efforts have improved the bottom line. “As a result of my efforts implementing the marketing plan, we are 30% up on last year’s sales figures.”

15. Give yourself positive messages. If you’re all worried that you’re not going to get what you want, if you think that you or your requests are going to be rejected, if you fail to believe in your worth, you’re never going to get what you want. Fill yourself with positive messages. Treat yourself as if you were your best friend. Remind yourself of your strengths and what you’re good at and the reasons you deserve to get what you want. (Cage the Parrot!)

16. Develop self-awareness. The more you know about yourself – your values, beliefs, motivators and attitudes – and how these and your behaviour impacts on others, the more able you are to present yourself in a way that is true to who you are in a way that appeals to your listener (see 1. Above)

17. Negotiate in increments. Because people tend to avoid change and taking risks, find ways of breaking down the process into small steps. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Address her issues and plot a course which can what you want – if not immediately, then in the future.

18. Frame your proposal. For example, if you want to work in a different part of the organisation from where you currently are, make the case that what you’d learn there will make you more proficient in your current job. As long as you’re doing what you were hired to do, few managers will complain when you want to take on extra work in another part of the company. Once you’ve gotten into the area where you want to be, volunteer to join task forces or take on projects others might not have time to handle. Be prepared to explain to your current boss how the activities relate to the job you have now. When the chance for you to make the transfer comes up, you’ll be ready and the idea won’t be such a shock for your boss.

19. Show willingness. Go the extra mile. Put in the time and effort. Demonstrate that you’re reliable, dependable and worthy of your request.

In today’s work environment urgency rules the roost, more is being done by fewer, and resources are guarded. Knowing what you want and going out and getting it is vital if you want to get ahead. Colleagues and competitors are biting at your heels, waiting for you to slip and stumble, and are prepared to pick up the baton and run with it, leaving you in their dust. By knowing what you want and having the courage to go for it, you gain credibility and enhance your career prospects.

For more information visit www.kuhnkecommunication.com

And…Follow us on Twitter! www.twitter.com/diamondpolisher

The ability to motivate a team as well as yourself is key to achieving good management skills.

 One of the challenges facing CEOs and managing directors is how to keep motivating the people who are supposed to motivate others in the organisation.

 The question has several different dimensions. Too often senior managers – the people whose responsibility is to provide leadership in an organisation – don’t realise the impact (or lack thereof) of what they say. It is this impact that either fires up managers and employees, or sets the stage for indifference and malaise. It does not have to be that way.

 Seldom are senior managers prepared to take the time to find out what managers and employees hear when they are on the receiving end of motivational speeches.

The reality is in most cases, that the recipients of the message are actually hearing something other than what is intended. 

This is not simply because the speaker says the wrong words; it is often because of the way in which the words are said.

Once a CEO is aware of how managers and employees are receiving his messages, he needs to begin to work on building creative tension into his presentations. Creative tension is a way in which you can conv ince people to get together to achieve a goal.

An excellent example is the famous ‘I Have a Dream’ speech given by Dr Martin Luther King in l963 in Washington, DC. King’s challenge was to motivate people to change the way some Americans viewed the Civil Rights movement in that country. His speech captured the imagination and commitment of people by using creative tension.

In using this technique to motivate people in an organisation, a speaker first paints a picture of the way things are in the organisation (the current reality), and then paints a picture of what could be (the desired future) for the organisation. By doing this, the speaker established a gap between what is and what could be.

Then, by building the case for changing from the current reality to the desired future and how to get there, listeners are able to clearly understand the challenge they face and why they need to accept the challenge.

By both making the case  for closing the gap and walking the listeners through the steps to get there, the speaker is able to show why it is better to close the gap by moving the current reality closer and closer to be desired future instead of just weakening the desire to achieve something better.

In medieval times, there was a philosopher named William of Occam, who stated: ‘One should not increase, beyond what is necessary, the number of entities required to explain anything’.   This belief is known as Occam’s Razor, and it means that there is no value in doing more than needs to be done. This includes talking things over before a decision needs to be made.

Getting things done requires discussion and input but only if the discussion and input are focused on the real issues the company is facing; and only if a decision comes out of them.

Discussion – good discussion that is – requires that you explain the situation you are facing the things that complicate the situation, and then offer an option that will resolve the situation. It doesn’t require ramblings about other issues or other agendas.

Good discussion also requires good listening. And good listening means that you not only hear the words being said, but hear what is behind the words.  

Think of why that person has that view. Talk about which options make the most sense. 

Which options will provide the greatest leverage with the least prolonged effort? Which options will provide the greatest return on investment? And which options will have the least negative unintended consequences? Then make a decision.

For more information visit www.kuhnkecommunication.com

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You’ve prepared, you’ve practiced, and you’re rearing to go.   Pumped with adrenaline and ready to take on all challengers, you walk into the arena where you’re met with an angry,hostile, resentful audience.

 

Whether you’re speaking to an assembly of 1 or 1,000 managing your listener’s negativity is paramount if you’re to communicate successfully.  Panicking will get you nowhere.  By applying the 3-D principle: Depersonalise,Detach, and Defuse you’ll increase your confidence and come off looking like a star.

  • Depersonalise  People carry their own agenda and personal baggage.  Someone’s response to you may have nothing to do with you personally.  For example, a client was struggling with a member of her staff, who was named Donna.  It turned out that the client’s husband had recently left her for another woman, whose name was also Donna. The problem wasn’t the staff member’s capability or competency, it was her name. Lesson learned?  Don’t take it personally.
  • Detach
      Contain your feelings, expunge your ego, and distance yourself from the emotion.  Engaging with the attacker sets up a
    competitive dynamic in which one wins and the other loses.  By remaining open and asking questions for gaining clarity you’ll neutralise the situation.
  • Defuse A bit of appropriate humour goes a long way in defusing negative energy. If your tension rises and you respond defensively, the negativity will increase. Remember: Respond to the situation; don’t react to the person.

 

Knowing What Triggers Your Reactions

 There are people in this world who just annoy you and you don’t know why. By investing time to recognise who and what sets you off you’ll increase your ability to handle whatever negativity gets thrown your way.  Below are different types you might recognise as Triggers:

  • The Know-It-All:  This person has an answer for everything and wants to actively participate in your life.  Acknowledge the positive
    contribution the person makes, and that you will consider their input.  You do not promise to act on their suggestions, just to consider them
  • The Fault Finder: Whines and complains about everything and comes up with no solutions.  This person takes pleasure in complaining.  No matter what you say, they’ll respond with, “Yes, but…” Tell them that you are looking for solutions, not further problems, and that you would appreciate their suggestions.
  • The Expert Challenger: These people need to be recognised for their expertise.  Acknowledge their contributions and remain open to their input.  By inviting and acknowledging the challenger’s expertise you’ll build rapport and create an ally.
  • The Wanderer: This person immerses himself in the minutiae of the detail when a quick answer is all that’s required.  To stop
    them from droning on, cut in, summarise what they’ve said and thank them for their contribution.
  • The Loser: This person never admits to being wrong or making a mistake.  With low self-esteem, this person can only make himself feel better by making other people wrong.  Let them save face by agreeing to disagree.
  • The Controller:  Dominance is paramount to this person.  Able to intimidate others by monopolising a conversation or activity, you can control them by asking for others to respond.  If the person continues to dominate the conversation/meeting/event take a break, and have a quiet word with them.
  • The Talkers:   No matter how good you are at connecting with an audience, there will be times when two or more people will engage in conversation during your presentation.  If it’s a large audience, ignore the disruption.  If they’re distracting the people near them, they’ll soon be told.  If it happens in a smaller group, you’ll have to manage the distraction.  You can do this is the following ways:
    • Make eye contact and stop speaking until they look at you.
    • Ask them directly to hold their conversation until the break.
    • Walk toward them, stop in front of them, and keep talking. 
  • The Hecklers: Ignore them and continue as you planned.  If you don’t respond to them, they’ll soon give up.  If they continue, ask their name and what organisation they represent.  This usually works because hecklers want to remain anonymous.

 

The point to remember about difficult audiences is that when someone is acting disruptively, it’s more often than not about something other than you.  The person is suffering from an unmet need.  Whether it’s the loser needing to be right, the complainer needing to be comforted, or the controller needing to dominate, by depersonalising, detaching, and defusing, you’ll remain in control and the other person’s negative behaviour might even disappear.

 

For more information visit www.kuhnkecommunication.com

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Just a few short notes on how to exude charisma in a meeting situation.

The secret lies in body language – in what the experts call power moves. The choreography of physical dominance that, since the dawn of
hominid society, subconsciously warns the betas of an alpha’s presence.

The moves subtly declare ‘Obey this person,they are cool, they rule’!

 

So, how to enter a meeting room:

Don’t just scuttle in head down

Pause briefly inside the door

Survey your domain and as you approach your seat, move something – a chair a piece of desk furniture – to assert the fact that this is
your territory.

Try to get the tallest chair.  It’s important

If the chairs adjust, spring yours to the top height.  If you’re stuck on a short chair, sit on the
front edge so you look poised for action.

Don’t sit with your back to the door: studies show it makes you subconsciously worried about attack from behind.  Your pulse and blood pressure rise.   You look uneasy

And lastly, smile and breathe from your boots!

For more information visit www.kuhnkecommunication.com

And…Follow us on Twitter! www.twitter.com.diamondpolisher

How to make the most of your next meeting

Don’t miss the chance to impress your colleagues, clients or boss – and inch closer to that pay rise. Use Kuhnke Communication’s top tips to achieve your aims and make the most of each and every meeting.

 First of all, make an entrance. When you enter the room, hold for a moment to take in the scene.  If you’re carrying a notebook, pad, or lap top, hold it by your side, not in front of you.  Hiding behind your props makes you look defensive and as if shielding yourself. Once you’ve surveyed the room, acknowledge others who may already be there before moving.  A simple smile and nod of the head will do before you speak.  Do not scurry into the room.  When you move, move with purpose.

Next, sit upright, with your weight evenly distributed.  Leaning forward shows interest and involvement, sitting back indicates that you’re stepping out of the discussion and are reflecting on what’s happening. Feel free to take as much room at the table as you can.  Men spread out leaving women squished in wherever they can fit.  Folding your hands, leaning forward with your elbows resting on the table demonstrates that you’re claiming your space.

When it comes to your part, whether presenting or pitching. Distribute your weight equally between both legs (i.e., don’t stand with your weight mostly on one, bending the knee of the other, jutting your hip out). Standing ‘4 square’ with your feet and knees placed evenly beneath your hips makes you look strong and in control.  Put your hands in the power position (elbows bent, hands together at waist level, finger tips touching or one palm resting in the other.) You can also hold your hands by your sides.  This may feel uncomfortable and it’s the strongest position you can take.  You’re completely open to your audience, in your most vulnerable position, saying in effect, “Here I am.  I have nothing to fear.” Hold your head as if it were floating on a gentle lake, with your chin parallel to the floor.  Lifting your chin can make you look arrogant and dropping it may make you seem unsure.  Establish strong eye contact.  When you speak look at your audience 65-85% of the time.  NEVER look at the screen behind you if you’re making a power point presentation.  And NEVER read from your notes.  The moment you break eye contact, you give away your power.  NEVER stand with your hands clasped in front of your pelvis (Fig leaf position), this makes you look defensive and protective.

Finally, avoid any other common mistakes. Women give up their power by making themselves small.  They tend to bring their shoulders forward and hold their arms close to their bodies.  In addition, they often stand with their legs crossed, making them look like little girls instead of powerful women. They also tend to nod frequently in agreement and smile to excess. This makes them appear conciliatory, which, while fine in theory, can be interpreted as relinquishing power. Strive to maintain a neutral stance as described above, with a calm and impartial expression.

 For more information visit www.kuhnkecommunication.com

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Use these simple tips to assert yourself and claim your space in the office, making the difference between being perceived as powerful, or merely part of the pack.

  • Consider your stance. Place your hands facing each other and steeple your fingers. This forces your palms apart and, whether you are sitting or standing, you arms will take up more space. This is a highly effective negotiating posture; watch how CEOs, politicians and solicitors use it.
  • Delay your introduction. When you first meet a person, engage them in conversation for a few seconds before giving your name. By then he or she will have a reason to remember it.
  • Be aware of your body language. If you nod to show empathy, it can be misinterpreted as agreement. If you disagree with something, say so verbally. This will avoid misunderstanding. When talking, keep your head upright, even balanced on your neck. Relax your shoulders, keeping your upper chest softly opened like a book. This position will give you a look of authority and influence.
  • Practise speaking with a lower, more even delivery. A lower voice has more credibility, which is why most commercial voiceovers are done by men. If your voice rises at the end of sentences, force the intonations down.
  • Don’t allow others to interrupt you. If co-workers try to interrupt you, increase the volume of your voice and keep speaking. If they continue to speak over you, put up one finger to indicate that you have not yet finished. If that doesn’t produce the desired result, hold up your hand as if to say, “Stop!” Or say, “Excuse me, I hadn’t finished.” Assertiveness shows that you are confident and aware of your rights. The more you practise, the easier it will get. You’ll feel good about yourself too.

For more information visit www.kuhnkecommunication.com

And…Follow us on Twitter! www.twitter.com/diamondpolisher