Five Ways to Develop an Inviting Presence

By Stephanie Bickel

Have you ever had trouble connecting with some people? Have you ever received the feedback that you can be difficult to work with? It is not easy to flex your style to connect with different personalities in ever evolving situations. Here are five practical ways to help you create an inviting presence by managing how others perceive you.

Be strategic when using your physical presence.

Your posture, movement, facial expressions, and eye contact signal to others your confidence, poise, and authority. Good posture also helps improve vocal quality. Lift your torso and drop your shoulders. Focus on having direct, meaningful eye contact with each person as opposed to “scanning” the room. When you give someone personal attention, they feel important and tend to pay more attention. Try softening your facial expressions with a smile.

Maximize your vocal quality.

A good speaking rate conveys to others that you are calm and in control of a situation. Vocal poise highlights your leadership potential. Be intentional with your tone and make sure it matches the message you are delivering. Embrace the pause! It allows the audience to process your entire message and gives you time to collect your next thought. It helps to eliminate filler words or non-words and to maintain a strong voice throughout an entire statement so the last word can be just as loud as your first.

Know your audience.

Be audience-centric. It’s not about you and what you want to accomplish; it’s about them and aiding in their success. Staying audience-focused will allow you to maintain your attention on common goals and build relationships rather than your own anxiety.

Highlight their strengths.

Praise your colleagues in front of others for their contributions. We all want to feel successful and direct acknowledgement is one of the best ways to communicate it. State your observation and the impact it had on you. Empathize with others and what they may be going through. When they feel like you care, they will be more willing to share information with you.

Be structured.

Stay focused on the goal of the conversation. Is it informational, for discussion, or to make a decision? Speak to one key idea with headline statements. When preparing your communication piece, strive to map out your answer clearly and concisely.

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