Meetings are some of the best opportunities to share your ideas and get co-workers to follow your lead. But how do you get them to listen and nod their heads in agreement when they hear your suggestions?
In other words:
How do you get noticed at work?
Simple. By developing charisma. And fortunately, there are some easy and straightforward ways to do it.
Today, you’ll learn how to become the most memorable speaker in any meeting room. Read on to get a simple 3-step solution you can use today.
1. Become a memorable speaker so people remember your ideas
First things first:
How do you make people remember what you say?
By becoming a memorable speaker.
Just think about it:
If people remember what you say, your ideas stick with them. And to do that, you need to communicate in the right way.
Now, there are two parts of the equation here. First, use your innate charisma. And second, package your message in such a way that it’s easy for your listeners to digest. Here’s how:
Learn to use your charisma
First impressions matter.
Before you even open your mouth, people judge you based on your appearance, your body language, and your facial expressions.
One of the most effective ways to get them to lean in and listen to your words is to create a credible, polite, and appealing impression. To develop your charisma so people become interested in what you have to say before you say it.
People aren’t born with charisma. Instead, it’s a skill they develop.
In the book, “Compelling People: The Hidden Qualities That Make Us Influential”, authors John Neffinger and Matthew Kohut explain that your influence (or charisma) is based on two things – strength and warmth.
The most influential people have both qualities. And the least influential people lack both.
Take your typical investment banker. Investment bankers aren’t exactly seen as the warmest of people – and warmth isn’t what moves them in their careers.
On the other end of the spectrum you have kindergarten teachers. Many kindergarten teachers signal warmth (if they wouldn’t, would you be comfortable leaving your child with them?).
Note that kindergarten teachers signal strength, too. But in terms of their jobs, warmth matters more.
So how do you increase your strength and/or warmth?
Here are a few things to do right now:
You see, people mirror each other. If you smile at someone, that person will probably smile back.
Smiling, again, releases all kinds of good stuff. More specifically, “feel good transmitters” dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins.
So people feel good around you. Plus, when you smile, people see you as relaxed, sincere, attractive, and reliable.
In other words:
Smiling makes you warmer.
Second, be calm and poised.
At the end of the day, confident people – that is, strong people – are likable.
So, your demeanor (things like sitting upright, looking people in the eye, and resting your hands on the table) can have a huge impact on how confident people think you are.
Third, the way you dress has a huge impact on how people see you.
You’ve probably heard people say: “Dress for success.” And it’s true, what you wear signals a lot of things to other people.
But “dressing for success” doesn’t necessarily mean a suit. Instead, dress for your environment.
You see, suits signal strength. And more relaxed clothes signal warmth.
So if you work in a more creative field where warmth is valued, wear clothes that dial up your warmth. If you work in a place where strength is valued (say, a bank or in the legal field), wear clothes that make you look stronger.
But, there’s beside signaling strength and warmth, you also need to communicate your message in the right way…
Communicate your message
People remember what you say if you present it in the right way. So it’s not the content itself, it’s the package.
First, keep your message clear. What is the one thing you want to get across to your co-workers?
Second, repeat key points. People need to hear your message multiple times before they remember it.
Third, package your message in a story. Why? People remember stories 22 times better than facts.
For example, start with a story to grab people’s attention.
Or create a narrative. If you want to suggest a new project, wrap it up in a story. Where is your company now, what do you need to do to overcome this, and where will you end up?
Forth, be clear with what specific next step you want your co-workers to take.
Do you want to introduce a new project? What’s the smallest, simplest step your co-workers can take right now? Use that as your “call to action”.
THAT’s how you get noticed at work.
2. Use persuasive words to get people to take action
Now you know how to package what you want to say.
It’s time to take a look at what you should say.
Because the words you use matter. Some words are more persuasive than others. When people hear them, they “tick”.
For example, an MIT study showed that the most persuasive word in meetings is “yeah”.
Why is this word so persuasive?
Probably because it means you’re agreeing with someone (“Yeah, I understand what you mean”).
People are much more likely to listen to people they agree with. So by agreeing to what your co-workers say, you put yourself in their “circle”. You show that you’re not hostile to their suggestions, but you’re on the same page with them.
And if you want people to do something for you, there’s a word that moves them:
In a 1978 experiment, researcher Ellen Langer asked if she could cut before people in a copy machine line.
When she asked: “Excuse me, I have 5 pages. May I use the Xerox machine?”, 60% complied with her request.
She then tried a different question to see if people would comply.
Now, she asked: “Excuse me, I have 5 pages. May I use the Xerox machine, because I have to make copies?”. In other words, she made it sound like she gave a reason… but in fact, she didn’t.
Interestingly, this question got 93% to comply with her request.
So to get people to adopt your ideas, give them a reason.
According to the MIT study, the least persuasive words in meetings are speech, flat, flair, and recognition.
What do these words have in common?
They’re vague and plain. They don’t give value and they don’t stand out in all the meeting buzz.
(The same goes for meeting jargon. If you want to get noticed at work, avoid jargony words at all cost.)
3. Use these simple techniques to influence your co-workers (and get noticed at work)
The third step is to influence people so they listen to you and pay attention.
Here are a few ways to do just that:
How can you help them achieve their goals?
As Zig Ziglar said: “You can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”
If you want your co-workers to vouch for your ideas, you need to first ensure it’s an idea that goes hand in hand with their goals.
So look at things from their perspective. What would help them achieve their goals?
For example, how can you present a new project so that you highlight how it helps your co-workers’ career goals?
Show your appreciation
How do you get people to lean in when you talk?
Show your appreciation and make them feel important.
By just saying their name, you’ve already shown you’ve noticed them. And if they feel seen, they feel appreciated.
What you shouldn’t do if you want your co-workers to listen to you…
Don’t say they’re “wrong”
What’s a surefire way to get people to stop listening to you?
Criticizing them or saying they’re “wrong”.
People don’t like getting turned down so bluntly.
Of course you can give suggestions and reject an idea.
But, frame your answer in the right way.
Remember how we talked about the persuasiveness of the word “yeah” in meetings?
Use it here.
Instead of saying:
“You’re wrong, the numbers don’t show that this would be a good investment”, say:
“Yes, I see you’re point. But it seems there are some numbers we need to take into account here…”
Get them to say “yes”
Speaking of the power of the word “yeah” in meetings…
Turns out you shouldn’t just say it yourself. You should get your co-workers to say it, too.
Get to a “yes momentum” – the first “yes” leads to the next, and so forth.
And there’s a simple way to get people to say yes:
Ask them questions that get them to say yes.
“Tom, you’ve already worked with these kinds of projects, haven’t you?”
“Lisa, you sent that social media report last week, right?”
Let them do the talking
Last, but not least:
Let your co-workers do the talking.
Listen to what they have to say. Address their objections and concerns.
Only then will they listen to you.
And, when they do listen to your ideas…
Make your team believe it was their idea and not yours.
Will this ensure they listen to you the next time?
Conclusion: Be the person people remember in meetings
Now you know how to get noticed at work.
You have a 3-step action plan to become the most memorable speaker in the meeting room.
Just one more thing left to do:
Make sure your ideas get noticed by practicing your charisma at every meeting.
What’s the first thing you’ll do to implement these steps? Let me know in the comments below.