If you were like me you were brought up to be seen and not heard, or to be quiet and not to rock the boat. But, from a business perspective this is terrible advice. In business you must be seen and heard to be a really great leader. You have to strive always to be seen as a leader in your niche if you want to build a successful long term business. Leaders lead from the front and don’t lurk in the shadows. You need to be seen and heard in order to lead groups, persuade others and maximize your impact. Here’s how to do it.
Walk into a Room with Confidence
One of my favorite mentors used to often say “fake it until you make it” and this is especially true when wanting to develop confidence. “Practice makes perfect”, is another saying that you should heed. Practicing feeling confident and acting the part will eventually help you really feel that way. How you present yourself as a leader makes all the difference. Dress the part. Look the part. Talk the part. Be the part.
Speak with Intent
When you are speaking, don’t back down from your ideas and opinions. If you have studied something which is true and factual, you should be able to speak with intent without even faking it. Before any talk or before any meeting, play out in your mind the points you want to make and practice your lines so that you will not sound unsure.
Understand How to Use Emotion
Use their stories, their fears, and their ideas when you speak to people. Try to relate their situation to yourself in a way that is revealing, but don’t give away too much information. It depends on your topic and audience, but you want to evoke the emotions that will get them to move forward.
Be Authentically You
You don’t have to tell everyone your deepest, darkest secrets to be yourself. But you do need to let them in sometimes. There was a military officer who loved to do his Elvis impersonation before events. He was a tough person, but he was well loved due to this one thing he did that let people see that he was human.
Be Present in the Here and Now
If you’re tied up in what may happen, what has happened or what will happen, you won’t be present and it will show. Charisma comes from inside and it comes from people who are good at being mindful of where they are and what they’re doing right this second – without thought of the other noise that gets in the way.
Listen to Your Audience and Show It
One of the best ways that you can be perceived as being a great leader is by listening to your audience. Even when you are in public giving a speech, there are ways to get the mood of your audience. Observing them, and asking them questions that requires a clap, a yell, or a response of some kind will help you establish a connection by showing that you’re listening.
Be Where Your Audience Is
One of the best ways to be seen and heard is to know who your audience is and make a point of being there. The more you surround yourself with your audience, the more you can listen and learn so that you know what helps motivate them.
It’s OK to Be Wrong
Chances are you don’t know of anyone that hasn’t made a mistake, everyone makes mistakes. What great leaders do well however is to admit when they are wrong and to learn from these mistakes. There is absolutely no harm in being wrong; there is only harm in stubbornly sticking to your guns when facts show that you’re wrong. Remember true character shines through in adversity.
If you want to be perceived as a leader within your niche, then you must come out of the shadows and be seen and heard. Submit guest blog posts, let people interview you, promote your published works, give talks in person and online and really utilize social media. The more people see you, hear you and get to know you, the more they’ll see you as a great leader and as the go to expert in your niche.