One question I am often asked when I coach and teach people on standing out through their personal brand is, “How do I display presence when I walk into a room?” It's a bit of a mystery isn’t it, why one person seems to have the IT factor, or that certain something that makes heads turn and another just blends into the crowd. Can we acquire presence? Is charisma or executive presence an innate part of our being or can it be learned? Yes we can acquire presence and learning these skills will help you stand out at work and in your business.
- Self-awareness of your personal brand. Do you understand what your brand image or essence is and how you come across to others? If you understand what people say about you when you are not in the room, that may help you know how to work the room. Do an audit to uncover your personal brand characteristics and gain feedback from others to know how your brand is currently being perceived. Once you understand that you can work on the areas that could be letting you down. It could be your aloofness, or always talking about yourself. Know your positive qualities, highlight those and create a personal brand statement that supports what you want to project.
- Pride. Displaying an air of confidence when you walk into a room, meeting or any public situation demonstrates a strong sense of self-esteem. You might not always feel like you are the most charismatic person in the room – in fact you might think I’m too short, tall, big, small, unintelligent, and the list goes on…You are you and you have your own set of accomplishments and strengths. Acknowledge that, remind yourself of past successes and feelings of accomplishment, appreciate the value you bring to others and own your confidence.
- Passion. Enthusiasm for what you do, the world around you and being inspired by other people translates into an upbeat, positive person. Who wants to be around a stick-in-the-mud? Your likeability factor will increase if you are passionate about life. There’s lots to appreciate after all and enthusiasm is contagious.
- Personal Best. Set high standards for yourself and always show the best side of you. Behaviour and how you interact with people goes towards your reputation and personal brand. You want people talking about you – but you want them talking about you for the right reasons. You might be great at your job but if you are painful to deal with no one will like you. Personal best also means looking the part of the stand out professional you are. You don't have to wear outlandish costumes to capture attention. Personal brand and presence is more than just the clothes you wear. However, it does pay to put some attention to your personal appearance.
- Communication. As a former PR professional, I was taught that communication is always two-way. Not just broadcasting your opinions and thoughts but tuning in and listening to others. You have to understand what your customers and clients want and need before you can give it to them. Even in just day to day conversation, listen to others, ask questions and tune in to who they are and their interests. Others will find you fascinating if you show how fascinated you are with what they have to say.
- Consideration for others. Showing and demonstrating that you like someone else and respect their thoughts and opinions often means that they will like you in return. Of course it is about being genuine. Have you had the experience where someone has invited you to join them for a drink after work just to get to know you and become friends? Sometimes we just need to know people care about us and like us. Not giving to get something in return but because we care.
- Circle of influence. I don’t know where the oft repeated expression – you are the sum of the 5 people you spend most time with – came from. However, if you hang out with the “rat pack” or the wrong crowd at school – as Mum used to say – you will end up like them. Who are the leaders and influencers you admire or feel have executive presence and allure? Where do they congregate and can you be a member of that network? Perhaps you can join with that community of like-minded, influential people where you know you belong and have some of that influence and presence rub off on you.
Your personal brand and presence is demonstrated through every interaction with others. I like to think of it as Personal PR. Learn more in my free eBook, The Power of Personal Public Relations.
Read last week’s blog How to Work the Room with Confidence.