3 Ways to Command Presence At Work
Use your eyes
Do you hide behind your laptop in meetings? I don’t mean you take notes diligently or check your emails. I mean you use it as a shield to avoid eye contact.
Instead give each speaker in meetings eye contact and nods while they speak. This shows you're paying attention and silently encouraging them to speak freely. Nodding your head doesn't always mean agreement, it's simply a way to show you're listening.
And in the spirit of treating others the way you want to be treated, this could begin a chain reaction of more active listening in meetings which cuts down on arguments that sometimes erupt from not truly giving attention to the speaker.
Sit on the email
What’s a great way to command presence? Don’t send emails right away.
Think about it. When you shoot an email off in the heat of the moment you probably say things you regret, your tone is potentially rude and you may even missspell some words.
Write the email but wait at least 30 minutes to reread and then send it.
You will command a room when you walk into it because people will know you measure your words before you say or send them.
Voice your opinions
Are people constantly asking you to speak up? Take your voice up a few notches in the next meeting for instant command of the room.
Your voice is half of what helps you command presence. If you’re afraid to use it then people will also be afraid to believe in what you say.
Practice in a mirror by making a fist and pushing into your diaphragm. This is a trick a voice teacher of mine taught me that works remarkably well. I may not sing but I can speak in front of a room full of people.
If you think these ideas seem too simplistic just try them and see what happens. It's the smallest tweaks that make a difference.