Tuesday 20 March 2018
Yorkshire PM Forum held its latest seminar at KPMG in Leeds with Deborah Ogden, professional impact specialist presenting Persuasive Communications for Personal Impact.
Whether pitching to a potential client or using your powers of persuasion to win the support of an internal stakeholder, effective communication skills are paramount to making an impact.
Deborah’s presentation looked at how we can influence those around us through our day to day impact, and how to get results when we have to ‘step up’ and pitch or present; either for new business, or to win backing for an idea or project internally.
Deborah opened the session by asking the audience to raise their hands if they had made an impact when they entered the room today. She said all hands should be raised. She went on to explain that there is an optimum impact and we should think about our own level. Personal impact is part of your personal brand – it’s about the words you choose, your vocal impact and your charisma. It’s about being remembered.
As a lawyer Deborah first learnt about her personal impact when speaking in court and building rapport with clients. She also discovered the importance of clarity of message when she worked for Lancashire County Cricket during the race riots and when she worked for the British Heart Foundation she learnt about knowing the pain point of your audience.
Persuasive communications is about building rapport with the audience, speaking with passion and clarity of message. The key points to impactful communications are:
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Eleanor Roosevelt.
Imposter syndrome – Deborah asked the audience who had a voice in their head who talked to them. Many did and Deborah has given hers a name – Horace. Horace says some awful things to her and can knock her confidence but you have to learn to box it off and ignore it. When you are on the stage presenting the audience are in no doubt you are the expert and if we are not confident our body starts to show it so our mind will be communicating this to the audience. It’s all about perception – nobody knows you are nervous. For example if you have leadership skills but your colleagues think you are bossy you will be seen as bossy. That is perception.
First impressions are important – how do you stand, sit and how are you known online? People judge others in a matter of seconds and it will take 10 further interactions with that person to right that wrong first impression.
Remember to adjust your dial – what is right for a conference is not right for a one to one. Persuasive communicators make us feel like we are the only person in the room by making us feel important. Finally bring passion to your communication – the captain of the plane normally has a deep velvet voice which shows gravitas, the cabin crew have a more singsong tone which alludes to having fun. The important this to remember is when we hear a boring voice most of us switch off.
Isobel Hainsworth-Brear, Print-Leeds Ltd