Then try these tips, courtesy of Frances Cole Jones, author of The Wow Factor: The 33 Things You Must (and Must Not) Do To Guarantee Your Edge in Today’s Business World.
In a recent DailyWorth blog post, she offers 5 snippets of advice. Here are our top three:
- Because women have naturally higher voices, it’s particularly important to ensure we’re speaking from our diaphragm which gives our voices resonance and authority. To check if you are, place your hand on your abdomen while you speak. If you’re hand’s not moving, your diaphragm’s not engaged. An easy way to practice engaging it is to lie on the floor with a heavy book on your stomach and breathe until the book is moving up and down. When you stand up, your voice will have dropped about an octave.
- It’s important for everyone to be aware of how they are taking up space. As women, we often make ourselves smaller, rather than larger. As you sit in your next meeting, look around at the posture and attitudes of others at the table. If you’re leaning back with your hands in your lap while others are leaning forward, move to the front of your seat, sit up straight, and lean in toward the group. Also, we trust you when we can see your hands, we don’t trust you when we can’t-keep you hands where others can see them.
- Listening without interrupting is a vastly underrated skill set– and interruptions come in many forms. As women, we often interrupt by agreeing and encouraging-“Absolutely,” we’ll say, or “I know exactly what you mean,” not recognizing that this can interrupt others’ thought patterns. Instead, I recommend signaling your encouragement and agreement via non-verbal techniques: leaning in, nodding your head, and smiling.
What advice do you recommend?