Everyone wants to stand out at work (in a good way, of course). Landing a big account or completing a major project can help you to stand out in a crowd, but those opportunities to shine might not happen as often as you’d like. Fortunately, you encounter multiple opportunities to powerfully communicate at work every day. Identifying and using those opportunities to your greatest advantage makes you memorable.
Communicating effectively seems daunting at first, especially since speaking in front of an audience is something many of us associate with fear or anxiety. Here are four ways to be more confident, compelling, and dynamic as a speaker and, ultimately, more memorable at work.
Be Yourself (Appropriately)
To become a great communicator, you must get better and better at being your true and best self — appropriate to the situation.
Some people interpret that last statement to mean, “just be yourself.” That is the root of the theory, but the part about “appropriate to the situation” is just as important. You can be passionate about pitching an idea to the boss at work, and be just as passionate discussing your political opinions with a friend. But that doesn’t mean you should be expressing your political views to your boss, or making your friend listen to your sales pitch. What is appropriate in one situation is not appropriate in the other, but in both situations, you are being authentic — the real you, your true and best self.
Harness Your Natural Charisma
Charisma is your ability to connect your personality to the personality of the audience, to make your audience feel good about itself. We often assume that charisma is a “you have it or you don’t trait.” In actuality, most people don’t know how much charisma they have simply because they’ve never developed it enough to find out.
Your authentic personality is the cord connecting your content to the audience’s personality. Charisma comes from that connection, and once you’ve made it, that’s when the energy between you and your audience flows.
Don’t Neglect Emotion
Many people erroneously believe that we cannot be emotional in business situations. This is a complete myth. Showing our emotions, and evoking emotion in our audience, can be an extremely useful instrument in our public speaking tool box.
Confidence, strength, hope, excitement, frustration—these are all emotions that, if we can convey them to, and inspire them in, our audience, may make our presentations extremely effective. You not only can be emotional, you have to be. In fact, research has shown that as many as eighty percent of business decisions are made emotionally.
Get Over Yourself
World-class communicators make mistakes, large and small, in their presentations all of the time. Do you want to know what their secret is for not becoming flustered or thrown off by mistakes?
They don’t care.
Most people never notice when a great speaker makes a mistake because the speakers themselves don’t care. They know that it’s not about them. They are focused on the audience and the delivery. A great speaker does not let himself be held back by the need to be perfect.It doesn’t matter if your technique is perfect, whether or not you make mistakes, or if you are extremely entertaining. All that matters is that your audience gets what you want them to get.
Bill Hoogterp is the founder and CEO of Own The Room. To learn more from Bill, check out his creativeLIVE workshop on public speaking.