A while back I attended this leadership training workshop, one of the key learnings was “to see and be seen”. Since then, I have studied and developed my own personal brand (which I am still improving, daily).
In today’s world we are so distracted, busy and most of the time, multitasking. This can get so crazy – for example you end up in meetings where you stay quiet the entire time. Or you are in a company function and you keep checking your email while sitting at a table. You are there, but not really there.
Leaders are in the people business. You want to be admired, and a role model? Or you want people to follow you? Well, they will do that only if they get to see you and your brand-what you represent. That’s when owning a room skill comes in.
Owning a room is more than looking someone in the eye, having a firm handshake and bringing enough business cards. There’s so much more to presenting the best version of yourself. When you’re on your game, you’ll project charisma, command attention, and inspire trust with your confidence, openness and strategy. It’s about doing your homework, asserting leadership and connecting in a way that will leave an impression long after you’ve left.
The best part is, these things can be learned. Follow these easy tips, and you’ll be prepared to walk into that room and be seen:
1. Prepare, Prepare, Prepare.
Who are you meeting, and what is important to them? What are their interests, and what do you have to offer that might catch their attention? Invest time in formulating a communication strategy that will work with the audience.
2. Have a goal
What do you want to get out of this room? Think of your goal as a direction, rather than a destination, and you’ll have a much easier time finding your way. Walk in with purpose.
3. Master Presence
Referring to #1. Understand your audience and what resembles to them in terms of dress code. You only have one opportunity to make a great first impression. Side note – this is also when you show your brand and personality – add your touch to your outfit.
4. No Cell Phone!
Keep your phone in your pocket. You are there for the people you’re meeting, and if you’re checking your phone, it communicates that you’re not interested in them. Use the Do Not Disturb feature and keep it on mute. It will ring only if there is an emergency.
5. Smile and gesture.
Your smile really can light up a room – Make them want to engage. Be enthusiastic and use body language to draw others in.
6. Listen and pay attention to details
Owning the room is about you getting to know other people. Ask questions, listen and pay attention to what others say.
7. Avoid complaining and criticizing.
Instead of looking for problems, find out what other people want and try to be their solution. Be that answer everyone has been looking for. Even if you don’t have a solution, find one or someone that can help them.
Final thought – Stay confident and take chances
When you are prepared and you know what you are talking about, you gain confidence. You are less stressed, you smile, you pay attention and listen, others will feel important and heard. When the conversation gets exciting (i.e. potential projects, job offers, or solutions to problems) – speak up! That is your moment to shine!