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Five Tips for Business Presence


Robby

Whether you’re going in for a job interview, a big presentation, or just a regular day at the office, the way you carry yourself will have a huge impact on your career. Here are five tips for improving your business presence, which will in turn advance your career and improve your life.

Business Professionals
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Ask and Listen

This is huge. Too many people talk too much. The best way to establish your presence as an effective communicator is to ask questions and then listen intently, rather than espousing your point of view and giving an unsolicited speech.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t answer questions when asked, of course. If you’re being interviewed, do respond fully to the query at hand. But at the same time, be ready to ask your own questions!

Speak Without “Lean Words”

You know how some people, like, put extra words that have no real meaning, you know, everywhere? Leaning on words and phrases such as “um” and “so” tend to make us sound less articulate. The most straightforward replacement for these words is a simple pause. Instead of saying, “Well…” just keep your mouth closed until you’re ready to say something.

Many speakers have other words that they state so frequently they lose all meaning. These include terms such as “literally” and “absolutely.” To find out what you say too often, ask a close friend. Or, record yourself speaking and take note of the phrases you personally overuse.

Don’t Interrupt

In social and professional settings, people insert themselves into conversations all the time by cutting someone else off mid-sentence. This is rude, and it doesn’t go unnoticed. Not only will the other party remember you as an interrupter, but people who are watching may think less of you.

Naturally, a failure to interrupt may get you caught in long conversations. You shouldn’t force someone to stop talking by using your words, but you can do so with body language. Try taking a step forward or back. Raise your hand as if to ask a question. Cross your arms. Take out a piece of paper to make a note. But don’t interrupt others if you want to maximize your presence.

Eliminate Spoilers

Movie fans say a “spoiler” is a bit of information that ruins the film. Usually it’s a key plot point that doesn’t come until the end, such as the character that dies unexpectedly or a heroic act that is otherwise unpredictable. Once you know this twist, there’s not much point in watching the whole movie.

A spoiler in a professional context is something that distracts a person from hearing what you have to say. It’s an ink spot on your shirt or a cowlick in your hair. It’s the curse word you used at the opening of your statement or an incorrect name for a key product or person. Don’t “spoil” other people’s impression of you, or else they won’t be paying attention at all.

Build for the Future

In every interaction you have with business colleagues, think about what’s going to happen next. Are you going to see them again in a day or a week? Is there a future project or ongoing activities? Whatever might be part of the future, plan for it by stating aloud what you intend to do.

Be specific about when you hope to see them or talk to them again. Business presence is about having a role in someone’s life for many years to come. Keep reaching out to them and letting them know you are there to help. Establish a plan for the future, even if that’s just the next time you’ll meet.

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About the Blogger: Robby Slaughter is a productivity speaker and expert. He is a principal with a AccelaWork, an Indianapolis consulting firm.

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Tue, August 11 2015 » Career Planning and Goal Setting, Leadership

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