Have you ever noticed when the head person of your organization or any organization for that matter, be it a CEO, CFO, President, Vice President speak, they capture the attention of the audience. This may be because of the position they hold, but what about those that have the respect of their employers for their credibility, reputation, integrity and fairness. These senior managers are the ones who can make people stand at attention just by entering a room. When they speak, people listen and when they suggest people take notes. That kind of executive presence may be innate for some, but can be learned for those who seek out those qualities of a senior executive.
The following are traits that you should look to perfect to capture your audience:
If you speak too fast, you’re telling the audience you’re not worthy of taking up their time. You can always notice who is nervous when speaking, they tend to talk faster and trip on their words a bit. By speaking slowly and confidently, you show you’re confidence–that you have a right to be there.
Will The CEO Please Stand Up
When the opportunity presents itself, whether behind a podium or in a conference room, standing up gives people the impression that you are confident. Even if you stand up only to introduce your self, then sit down, it’s still an effective way to make your presence noticed.
Even small gestures can convey meaning. When you gesture from your shoulder and arms, you take up more space. The bigger the room you’re in, the bigger your gesture needs to be. But beware of moving around the stage too much–it will make you look fidgety.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Go over what you plan to say–not just mentally, but also physically and orally. Practice everything, from the inflection of your voice, pauses, and gestures. Practice makes perfect and the only way you will know what you struggle with is doing a run through.
Don’t Nod Your Head
When you’re listening to another person, don’t nod your head to illustrate that you’re paying attention. Contrary to popular belief, it gives the impression that you agree with everything that person is saying and that you don’t have any unique opinions on the topic. As an executive, that detracts from your authority. Part of your CEO-like presence is remembering not to nod your head. It’s those little gestures that say things the big things.
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