Even the most experienced leaders have that moment when asked to speak to a group and nerves set in. As a C-level executive, speaking to an audience, the entire company or a group of employees or stakeholders comes with the territory. Learn how to own the room as a speaker. It will help to cement your outstanding reputation and build respect for your leadership. Commanding the room requires a strong presence both verbally and nonverbally. Fortunately, having a strong, confident presence in any setting is a skill you can practice, master, and learn through executive coaching. So what is at stake when you speak in front of a group? How can you successfully make an impact verbally and nonverbally when presenting?
What’s on the Line?
The stakes are high when you are front and center, so take a minute to identify the factors that make these moments crucial for your career.
When you speak to a group, others create perceptions of who you are as a person and a leader. Can they trust you? Do they respect your education and background? Do they admire you? The answers to these questions are crucial in creating a relationship with your audience.
The way you own a room can be a vital determining factor in your candidacy for the next step in your career. Show others that you have what it takes to advance in your executive leadership.
When speaking to stakeholder groups, decisions are being made for the company. A strong presence can differentiate between getting your new project approved or swaying new investors to invest in you.
Own the Room Verbally
There are a few cardinal rules of public speaking related to the verbal aspect itself. With practice, these skills are quickly mastered.
- Rehearse beforehand
- Speak in a firm, loud, and confident tone
- Monitor the rate at which you speak
- Use concise words
Own the Room Nonverbally
When it comes to commanding a room nonverbally, you can do a few things to win over your audience with your leadership presence.
- Project a calm and collected nonverbal message by coming prepared and on time to the engagement.
- Make eye contact with your audience to show confidence.
- Smile to show you enjoy the topic you are speaking about and your audience.
- Control the room with strong body language. Sit or stand tall, and keep your arms on the table or wide, not crumpled into your body.
- Lean forward toward someone when you are speaking to show engagement.
- Share the spotlight. The best leaders elicit feedback and thoughts from their audience regularly. Show that you value your audience’s feedback.
Hone these nonverbal and verbal speaking components to position yourself to deliver successful presentations optimally.
Dr. Geneva Williams, a certified life coach, is ready to coach you as you learn how to own the room as a speaker. With years of experience, Dr. Geneva is committed to guiding, mentoring, and executive coaching people through various stages of their life. Learn how to create extraordinary personal, professional, and community impact through self-development and leadership strategies with Dr. Geneva. Reach out today to get started!
Speaker, Author, Thought-Leader… and I really like this one, vibrant living culture creator; Golden Soror of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and Michigan Women’s Commission Appointee. With more than forty years of expertise in business management and personal development, I also have the distinction of receiving the NAWBO Top Businesswoman Award and the Booker T. Washington Legacy Award.