The young manager who stands at the head of the room starts to speak: “I was thinking that maybe I would give you some of the numbers and updates for the XYZ project? Unless, of course, I should sort of start at the very beginning, with, you know, the history of the project, before I get to our proposal?” How would you describe the speaker in one word? Unclear? Hesitant? Timid?
Verbal and nonverbal ticks and other distracting mannerisms are probably more common among people new to management and/or public speaking; but even seasoned leaders sometimes make subtle mistakes when presenting that can detract from their credibility. Take the manager whose nerves drive her to speak so fast, people can barely keep up. Or how about the presenter who avoids taking credit where credit is due.
To be an effective presenter you must know your material, get to the point, use precise language—no filler words, hedging or qualifiers—and project strength and authenticity.
In thinking about what makes women in leadership powerful communicators and presenters, we asked ourselves:
- How can women become more aware of their language and mannerisms? Stance? Believability?
- How can they walk that fine line between getting to the point and giving people enough data?
- How can they learn to use vocal variety to make their points and engage the audience?
- What’s the best way for women to find the mentors and sponsors who can help them become better communicators and leaders?
We’ve thought a lot about the communication skills women in leadership need to succeed. And that led us to developing a new workshop, called PowerSpeaking for Women. In the next PowerSpeaking blog post, we’ll give you a preview of the program, which is centered in what we call the “3 Cs” of successful presentations: clarity, confidence and courage. In the meantime, if you’d like to get more information, please don’t hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.