Ten Tips on Speaking with Authority and Power

Graham Jones

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No matter how good you are as a presenter, there will be times when you need to make sure you exude power and authority. If you are ‘the boss’ and want to be certain the staff will do your bidding you will need to come across with power and authority. You will also have to come across authoritatively when presenting at a large conference when your competitors will also be present. Equally you will need to be seen as powerful if you are wishing to make a name for yourself within your industry. However, even though you may want power and authority in these settings, you will not wish to appear arrogant or bossy. Using these ten tips you’ll achieve the right balance.

1. Think the part!
If you believe you have the power and authority to say what you are saying this will help tremendously. You really need to see yourself as brimming with power, authority and gravitas.

2. Dress the part!
Powerful people wear powerful clothes. They appear smart, even in casual wear. They take care of their appearance and generally look good. Purple and blue are seen as powerful colours by an audience.

3. Speak the part!
Use power language. Don’t say ‘perhaps’ or ‘maybe’ be certain. Powerful and authoritative people speak with absolute certainty – even if they are not really sure.

4. Act the part!
When you are on stage stand up straight, look people in the eye and dominate your stage with definite and decisive gestures.

5. Move
Move around your stage. Start off in the centre front and then move so you cover a lot of ground. Static presenters are not seen as authoritative.

6. Create powerful associations.
Link yourself to other powerful and authoritative people by agreeing with what they say. Use quotations if necessary.

7. Be short and sweet
Speak with short sentences and leave pauses for people to absorb what you have said. Long, convoluted language makes you appear unintelligible and therefore you have no power or influence.

8. Have a stunning opening
Start with a dynamic and interesting opening that connects with your audience immediately. Mention them, use a personal anecdote or ask a question.

9. Power pack your ending
Make sure your ending is power-packed. Like a great overture you need to end with a rousing crash! To do this, summarise what you have said and then give your audience an action you need them to take.

10. Stand still at the end
When you have delivered your final words – stand still, centre stage looking your audience in the eye. Stay there and pause for several seconds before leaving the stage.

Graham Jones runs The Presentation Business at http://www.presentationbiz.com which helps people become great presenters.


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