Executive Presence, the key to great leadership, is built on three pillars: style, substance and character. This article will focus on the first and will provide you with 6 ways to improve your communication style. Style is how you use your voice and body to express yourself – it’s what will make or break a first impression.

Albert Mehrabian, Professor of Physcology developed a communication model, in which he demonstrated that only 7% of what we communicate consists of the actual content of the message. The use of voice, makes up 38% and as much as 55% of communication consists of body language.

Our executive presence training for business helps leaders to master the art of non-verbal communication, improving their communication style to display confidence and ease in any situation. As a taster of the training, here are 6 ways to Improve your communication style:


1. Energy

Energy can massively improve your communication style and develop your executive presence. Energy is contagious and will be reflected back in your audience. It’s not about talking louder or faster but simply being enthusiastic and showing a genuine interest in your cause. Having energy when delivering a message will help you to connect with your listener, it’s what makes your message stimulating and engaging.


2. Tone

Ever heard the saying it’s not what you say but how you say it? You can say the same thing with a different tone of voice and the meaning is completely altered. Making use of the highs and lows of your voice helps to convey mood and feeling which will connect you to the audience in a deeper way. Being professional does not mean being boring. Your audience will see you as authentic and be more open to your point of view.


3. Economy

Some people may think that to sound intelligent they have to use a whole load of business jargon and complicated expressions, but this is probably counterproductive. People appreciate the use of simple, every day language. In fact, simple language is said to stimulate more parts of the brain than typical business waffle. Use the ‘less is more’ approach to get your message across and remember to pause. Being comfortable and silent as you compose your next words will show you to be a thoughtful speaker. This will make your message more meaningful to the listener.


4. Clarity

One of the clearest signals of your executive presence as a leader comes across in the clarity of your voice. This is to do with: Projection, pace, and articulation.

Projection is about using the appropriate volume for your audience, people who project well are seen as decisive and knowledgeable. The fact that they are willing and want to be heard clearly tells the audience that the speaker trusts their own message and creates a reciprocal trust from the audience. To project better, breathe deeply using your diaphragm, the voice needs air to fuel projection.

Pace is the speed of your speech. Under pressure some people tend to speed up in a rush ‘to get it over with’ but this will reduce the clarity of your message. Some people try to move quickly through other people’s objections, but this will only make others feel overlooked. Speaking slowly will reduce the use of any space fillers, and will create the impression that you know what you’re talking about and are confident in your message.

Articulation is the clarity of your pronunciation. Studies suggest the more clearly a person pronounces their words, the more expert they appear. To improve your articulation there are a number of exercises you can try or even just reading aloud can help.


5. Eye Contact

People associate good eye contact with truthfulness but they associate staring with aggression. A ratio of 70/30 is about right, where 70 represents eye contact.

Share relaxed and sustained eye contact with everyone in the room to build trust.

Deliver one thought per person in larger groups.

Give full focus by pointing your feet and torso towards the audience

Stay aware of personal space, and mirror your audience’s body language to build rapport.


6. Body Language

According to Mehrabian’s theory, 55% of communication consists of body language so there is a lot to learn here. Be aware of your posture and the gestures you are using when presenting or when talking with someone as these things can say a lot more than the words coming from your mouth.

If you’re interested in learning more, our executive presence training will take your leaders through each of these points in detail and provide individual advice from our expert trainers. To talk to us about how to get executive presencetraining for business get in touch using this short enquiry form or call us using the contact details provided.

For more information, take a look at our Complete Guide to Leadership Skills.


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