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How Do You Communicate Professional Presence?

10.31.12 / Chris Lind

Theresa Whiting of Whiting Consulting

Sweaty palms, jumpy stomach, shaky voice.  These are just a few of the “symptoms” that many people experience - not when they’re coming down with the flu, but when faced with standing up in front a crowd of people and presenting.

Public speaking and presentation is an art form that takes practice to perfect.  Some people do it well and enjoy it, while others dread the day they have to stand up and give a presentation.  There is no “magic pill“ to ease your public speaking fears but there are plenty of professionals who specialize in helping people communicate effectively.

One of those professionals is Theresa Whiting.  She is a communication expert and with her firm Whiting Consulting, Theresa works with everyone from executives at firms to those simply interested in enhancing effective communication in the workplace.  This includes everything from leading a team meeting, interviewing with a potential client for a new project or presenting in front of your colleagues at an event like BuildBoston.  Here at ARC, we had the privilege to work with Theresa on a number of occasions, including at a recent lunch and learn presentation regarding professional presence. 

Theresa reviewed a whole list of steps that will help you become a better public speaker, and an overall better communicator.  “Your responsibility as a professional should be to have the 5 Cs as a foundation to effective communication,” says Theresa.

At this point, you might be asking yourself, “What are the 5 Cs all about?”  The “5 Cs” Theresa identifies are comfort, confidence, competence, credibility and control.  They are part of the bigger “10 Steps to Professional Presence” that she created, but in many ways, they are the most important factors in becoming a superior communicator.  Theresa informed us that possessing the 5 Cs is as important as your overall message.

Another important factor in successful communication is what you don’t say – your non-verbal communication.  Theresa explains, “It is essential that your nonverbal body language is congruent with your verbal language choice.”  Your posture, hand gestures, eye contact and attire all help to build your overall message to an audience, showing that you’re confident and comfortable with the topic at hand.

So, next time you have to give a presentation at the next all office meeting, just remember the 5 Cs.  It’s a lot easier (and less painful, maybe?) than getting a flu shot!

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