Impact, charisma, gravitas – It’s not what you say that gets remembered but how you say it

We run sessions on Executive Presence – how to build personal impact and gravitas. Some of you reading this blog will have attended one of these sessions.

On the programme we talk about personal impact when presenting. I was reminded of this session today when listening to Prime Ministers question time broadcasting from the House Of Commons. I have also been reflecting on the speeches made at Party conferences over the last couple of weeks. There are two presentation techniques we discuss on the programme that have been very much in evidence.

First the idea of presenting something as a contrast : ‘Ask not what your country can do for you,  but what you can do  for your country’ or ‘A small step for (a) Man, a giant leap for mankind’

The other is the three part list:

‘Government of the people, by the people, for the people’ or ‘A Mars a day helps you work, rest & play’

The BBC is expert in listening to a speech and extracting sound bites and short excerpts that summarise the main messages, the key points and the areas for emphasis. For those of you based in the UK, have a listen to the news today to hear the headlines of todays discussion in Parliament. You will find both David Cameron and Ed Miliband exchanging well rehearsed examples of both techniques.  Have a listen to the discussions between Obama and Romney and see how many you spot there.

You will soon realise how powerful these techniques are and could perhaps introduce them to your own presentations. Using contrasts and three-part lists will improve your credibility as a presenter and will be the main things people quote and remember.

If you wish to learn more, download our Executive Presence Model here:

The BBC has a short article on this technique:

We can also recommend the book ‘Lend Me Your Ears’ by Professor Max Atkinson

Music Playing In The Office This week

Playing Julia and Angus Stone this week. I, know, most of you won’t have heard of them but their album “Down The Way’ is great. We have also been playing the last two albums by The Waifs: “Temptation’ and “Sundirtwater’ – which are well worth a listen.