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Making Your Presence Felt- At a Meeting

That one person who walks into a room, says a few words and gets everyone’s attention to him. His presence can be felt across all places, everything he does and yet manages to maintain his composure. The charisma and panache this person carries makes everyone of us envy him. Meet Mr. Anand.

Those of us watching from the other side of the table believe Anand has an inborn trait. But the fact is, anyone can cultivate this trait by following some time tested techniques. In my professional life I have come across many such people and have observed some common traits these people carry. In today’s post I would like to share a few secrets that can help you build the charisma and presence that Anand has developed with time and hard work.

Remember the 3Cs – be Calm, Cool and Collected.

Anand never allows you to see him sweating, flustered or scuttled.  How can you replicate his poise (even if you are running from meeting to meeting)? First, before entering a room, always take a quick second to compose yourself—take a deep breath, collect yourself, and slow down. Enter the room, greet everyone and sit down.

Respect your time and others time.

Anand is always on time, gets the best seat in the room and is there to welcome everyone esle.  Be on time for your meetings each time and every time, in addition to giving you confidence, it will give you time to scope out the room and collect your thoughts.

Be Prepared.

Anand always has an appropriate answer to every question.  Spend extra time beforehand to prepare yourself for anything. Think about the questions that your boss or client might have, and prepare a well thought-out response, which will prevent you from going “umm, ahhh, let me get back to you”. Be calm, collected, and the person with all the answers. Speak up and answer question precisely and with relevant facts. Ask questions politely.

See yourself as others see you.

Anand’s every move and action shows confidence.  Clothes make a man is a very apt saying.  Ensure that you are always appropriately dressed in clothes that are clean and pressed. Mind your body language, always sit straight.  Be attentive, interested and engaged. Lean forward when speaking,   maintain eye contact with people you are speaking to, without overdoing it – don’t stare.

Make others feel special.

Everyone loves to speak to and spend time with Anand. As Maya Angelou said, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Make others feel special, take time to really listen to the people around you, be interested and mindful of their wishes and feeling.  If possible try to do something special and thoughtful towards your co-workers.

When it comes to executive presence, remember that actions speak louder than words. So, take the time to think through everything you do and how those around you may perceive it. Through practice, you’ll master the above skills until one day, you’ll be the person everyone wants to talk and listen to. Pretty soon, people will be saying, “He is just like Anand – he just gets it.”