Do You Know How to Speak with Confidence as a New Manager?
Part of becoming an effective new manager is acquiring the ability to speak in front of your team and other stakeholders with confidence and conviction. It’s all about showing that you have the knowledge, skills and capability to lead others in those highly visible moments of truth.
How to Start to Build Confidence
But what if you, like most of us, are uneasy (if not downright nervous) at the thought of addressing a group of peers or, worse, senior leaders or important customers? If you want to speak with confidence as a new manager, our advice is that you need to get over it.
Five Tips to Speak with Confidence as a New Manager – Even If You Don’t Feel It
Here are five tips that can help you speak with more confidence as a new manager.
1. Know Your Material and Message Thoroughly
As much as you may try to get a sense of who your audience will be and what they hope to hear from you, you can’t read their minds nor can you always address each individual concern. Make sure you are clear on the message YOU want to convey and have the facts to back it up.
That way you can stay centered and with a semblance of control.
2. Start Strong
The way you start and the way you finish are what matter most…for your nerves and for the audience’s impression of you. Be so familiar with your opening and your closing that you can recite it in your sleep. Make sure it has impact and succinctly expresses what you want your listeners to key in on.
Some experts recommend that you build a “rhythm” with a series of simple questions to focus the audience or with simple repetitive statements rather than long, complex, hard-to-follow phrases.
3. Read Your Audience…To a Degree
Don’t be cowed by deadpan faces. Some people just look that way regardless of what they are thinking about you and what you are saying. Instead, keep an eye out for when you might need to change your pace, move to a different spot in the room or highlight an especially important point.
And don’t forget the impact of a well-positioned pause…it can draw your audience’s attention as they wait for you to fill the unexpected silence.
4. Add Some Color
The best speakers know how to add relevant color to their message. This can be in the form of a story that illustrates a key point. Also use examples that better help the audience relate to what you are trying to say.
Paint a compelling picture in words to help your audience grasp your meaning.
5. Finish with a Simple Summary
Help your audience remember your message with a bottom-line recap. Most people struggle with remembering the details of what they recently heard…not to mention the main points. Before you launch into Q&A, summarize your talk in a way that ties back to your opening statements.
A strong close gives your presentation a structure that makes sense to you and to your listeners.
The Bottom Line
Enhance your image as an effective new manager by learning how to present like one when it matters most. As nervous as you may feel at first, with practice it will get easier and easier. Over time, you will adopt the techniques that allow you to speak with confidence…even if you don’t feel it.
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