We often refer to someone with great ‘presence’ as having ‘gravitas’. They speak with confidence, credibility and a connection to their audience.
‘Gravitas’ is somewhat intangible at the moment but the feeling the speaker leaves us with lasts long after we have forgotten their spoken words.
Learning how to nurture this type of ‘presence’ requires us to flex a few behaviours so that we more explicitly convey that ‘Gravitas’ feeling to our audience.
For instance, it’s a bit like making a Cocktail. Each recipe is unique and requires a different measure of ingredients to create the flavour and visual look of our chosen cocktail. Likewise, each of us requires differing ingredients and measures of those ingredients when we convey our ‘Gravitas’.
So what are the basic ingredients required to make a ‘Gravitas’ Cocktail?
1.A large measure of Integrity
First, being clear, open, and honest conveys the impression of authenticity and integrity.
2. Lots of Good intent
Be aware of the aim or purpose behind your words, and the impact they are likely to have on others. What do you want your audience to think, feel, do, and say as a result of your communication?
3. Extract of Knowledge
Also, knowledge is at the core of your credibility and credible communication. If your audience doesn’t know you; give them a reason to listen by sharing a few well-chosen credentials & your passion.
4. A large handful of Humanity
Then, don’t set yourself apart from your audience, credibility doesn’t mean you need to show you are in an authority position. Show your audience you care and respect their views not just your own.
5. A splash of Body Language to taste
How others perceive your credibility can be hugely influenced by external behaviours such as eye contact, body language, and gestures to name a few. The secret is to signal your intentions through more than just the words you speak. Indeed, learning to convey your message using your eyes, hands, body position, and tone of voice adds meaning and memorability to what you say.
6. A pinch of Personality
Finally, having gravitas does not require us to leave our authentic selves to one side. If humour is your thing, bring it and if it’s not don’t force it. In essence, be your true self; people will soon sniff out anyone who is attempting to be someone they aren’t.
Step 1: Preparation
Set your intention and purpose – What are my messages and why should my audience care? Do I have a credible communication on this topic?
Why me? – Reflect on why you are communicating this message? What credentials make you the person they should listen to on this topic?
Consider the audience experience – What do I want my audience to think, feel, do, and say as a result of my communication? How can I create this experience for them through what and how I share my message?
Step 2: Delivery
How you turn up matters – First impressions (even with an audience who knows you) matter. Use a connection tone of voice (smile and speak as if you are greeting a friend) at the start and end. When you want your audience to remember a key message use your credible voice (drop the tone slightly and speak a little slower).
Keep connected – Show an interest in your audience, remember communication is a two-way process, give them eye contact (not your visual aids) and show you are interested in them.
Here at mojoco, we work with people and teams to help tune up how they show up.
If you are interested in speaking to us about how we can help you show up with gravitas and build a credible communication, drop us a note.