So many women I work with are used to being a total boss in their subject. In their careers and life and education they are commanding experts and are not easily blown over or sized down. They have a vision, conviction and a total sense of how best to do what they do. They know themselves and they know their mind. And even so, they sometimes get hijacked by a shitty interaction when they’re pitching in a smaller group environment, or thrown off their game by a question that pushed that dormant button that when activated says “YOU’RE A FRAUD! YOU DON’T FIT IN! YOU’RE KIDDING YOURSELF IF YOU THINK THEY’RE GONNA LISTEN!” These women come to me for coaching to get back on their game, to find their voice again. Because somehow, they lost it, even for a second but long enough to worry they won’t get it back and knowing they need a strategy. A strategy to help them raise their voice, again.
Maybe you’re that woman. Here’s what you can do:
You’re used to coming from a place of authority, and something happened that knocked that out of you. We’re going to re-establish that authority in the first seconds you’re “on”.
Rewrite your intro to start from that place of authority. Do this instead of starting from that place of “thank you for having me.” This doesn’t mean you don’t have gratitude, you’re just going to save that for the end. Right now, and in the first few sentences, you’re going to point to what you KNOW, your strongest assets and your point of view that is uniquely yours because you are the only one looking at the problem you’re solving with such passion, detail and conviction you’re the authority on the subject. You’re going to establish that first off.
Blow us away with the facts, insights and data that shows us the problem you’re addressing. This sets the stage for us getting what you’re up against, willing to do or working through in a way no-one else can. It demonstrates that you see, more clearly than anyone, what you’re taking on. And it’s a problem only you saw, and that your innovation will address.
Be hella dramatic. Not hysterical, not extraverted per se, not song and dance. You’re gonna take your time. You’re gonna speak slowly and carefully and make us hang on your words. Like your freaking YODA or something. You’re not wasting our time or going to slow, you’re being high status and making sure we hear every word because it’s just that important.
Wear something awesome. No explanation necessary.
Here’s what you won’t do:
(This one’s a repeat) You won’t start with “Thank you for having me, I’m very excited to be here and to share with you blah blah blah…” because you are there, unapologetically and deserving to be on stage, in front of this group, at this moment, showing and sharing your value. You are giving them something too: your insights, your thoughts, maybe even a piece of your company and you don’t have to suck up. A simple thank you will do…and maybe even at the end, not the beginning.
You won’t start talking before you’re ready. When you wait until you’re ready your first words some from a strong settled place. And because taking your time shows you’re words are important and when you treat them that way, others will too. Impact? Authority.
You won’t worry about fitting in. You’ll come in big. This doesn’t mean loud or extroverted but you’ll definitely come in totally you. That kick ass scarf that feel just like you. That unexpected introduction to your pitch you’ve never seen anyone else do. Whatever it is, it’s you and it’s big and it’s not trying to fit in.
You won’t do it alone. Reach out to a colleague, a friend or even hire a coach to get your presentation story right and rehearse with you until you’re back in your power.
Because this is your time to grab those people who want to get you and what you’re doing and when you come from the place of authority, when you stand in what you KNOW, what you HAVE and what you BRING, you’re standing on solid ground that gets you back in the game, back on the mic and back in control.