1. Understand yourself: A first step in developing your personal impact, presence and authority is identifying what it is that you want to project to others. What are your strengths? What are your values? How do you want others to see you? How do you want to be? Real presence and impact comes from being congruent at all these levels. You need to understand yourself – your personality and your preferences.

2. Truly listen to the other person: When you are meeting people in a networking or other room, take your time to really, really listen to what they have to say. Your aim is to zone in on the other person so that you give them 100% of your time and attention. Making the other person feel as if they are really being heard, will increase your impact, presence and influence significantly.

3. Mind what and how you speak: Critical is what you say and how you say it. Some people want to tell others everything they know. Instead, communicate in a clear and concise manner. Do not give a dissertation as an answer to a question. Engage people in conversation. Don’t talk at them, talk with them. If you have expertise in a specific area, make two or three points. Don’t overload people with all the details. Speak from your experience and in a voice of authority. Don’t rush your words. Avoid phrases like “I think”, “it might be”. These phrases diminish the power of what you have to say

4. Watch your gestures: Research in social psychology suggests that larger, expansive gestures imply a confident person, while small, close to the body gestures imply the opposite. Practise gesturing in front of a mirror. This may feel awkward at first but, once you feel less self-conscious, it will prove valuable to your awareness of your impact on others. Keep gestures fluid and easy – jerky or rapid movements suggest lack of confidence.

5. Inspire others: Inspire and motivate others. Think about a person who has inspired you, those people who have encouraged and lifted us to a new level. The respect and trust for them rises be around and follow you. Take time to inspire and motivate the people around you.

6. Be consistent: The most important thing is to be consistent in your impact. If you’re one person on Monday and a different person on Tuesday, people will get confused. Once you’re clear about who you are and the perception you want others to have of you, it’s essential your impact, presence and influence are the same with different people and across situations. Day by day, present yourself with awareness and intention as you inch closer to your goal of strong impact.

Chat soon! KS