“Great communicators are made – they’re not born,” executive coach Stanley Zareff told online attendees during Class 4 of the NEW Summit Speaker Series, April 12, 2017. The next webinar takes place May 10; registration is free to all NEW members.
Zareff, managing partner, Zareff Consulting, led the one-hour session “Powerful Presence, Powerful Speaking.” Zareff shared proven techniques for making an outstanding first impression and delivering messages with impact and credibility.
For Zareff, everyone has the potential to increase their communication skills and leadership presence. “Those who go up the ladder and succeed have all tried their best to be themselves and be valued.”
Don’t be fooled by those who make delivering a message look easy, Zareff noted. “Even great leaders come from that shy place. They learn, they take workshops, they practice.”
Practicing can influence how others see you as well. “Perception is reality, and it only takes three seconds to make a lasting first impression.”
Zareff shared tips for building confidence and maximizing impact:
Monitor your appearance. “Realize who you’re speaking to. Is it formal or informal? Be appropriate to the office space.”
Be conscious of body language. “Shoulders back, people. That shows confidence. Posture’s everything.”
Avoid filler words and phrases. “'It was like,’ ‘to be perfectly honest,’ ‘at the end of the day,’ ‘well,’ ‘so,’ ‘basically’...I call that verbal graffiti.”
Get present. “Breathe and listen to the sounds of the room you’re in.”
Review your message. “Think of what you want your audience to know, and your nervousness will go away.”
Know what’s important. “Find your passion and self-consciousness will fade away.”
Be neutral, but compelling. “Smiling is everything in my book – but you have to know when and how to do it.”
Be human. “Humor is important. But don’t do it unless you’re funny.”
Zareff’s summarized effective communication with a simple formula: “Be on, be brief and be remembered.”
NEW members may register free online for the next NEW Summit Speaker Series webinar "Competition is not a dirty word" with author Peggy Klaus, May 10 at 1 p.m. ET. Members may view previous webinars in the NEW Study Hall. Not a member? Join NEW.