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6 Ways to Appear More Authoritative at Work

6 Ways to Appear More Authoritative at Work

Emerging leaders beware: are you undermining your own authority without realizing it?

Here are 6 ways to exude confidence and appear to be a leader, according to U.S. News & World Report writer Alison Green.

🎤  Get in synch, up front, with your direct report.

Have alignment with your supervisor on issues facing your team and company. You will lose authority if your boss reverses what you are doing and saying.

🎤  Know how to answer questions when you don’t know the answer.

You will not know how to handle every situation that crosses your path. To respond with confidence in these scenarios learn to use time as your negotiating factor. Example: “You’ve raised some valid concerns and you’ve given me lots to think about. I’ll get back to you on Friday.” Note: follow up when you say you’ll follow up.

🎤  Reduce your verbal clutter.

Fillers like “um,” “you know,” and “I think,” dilute your point, make you look nervous and decreases your gravitas. Try to erase this clutter by being aware of what fillers you use and wearing your imaginary Verbal Clutter Hat. Hint: practice this de-cluttering technique in less stressful situations and the habit will carry over into your work life.

🎤  Be aware of your tone of voice.

Don’t end sentences with a question mark unless they’re questions! This bad habit, called “upspeak”, negates your authority. Also, use declarative sentences. These are simple statements providing information or stating facts. Your tone of voice implies authority vs sounding hesitant and unsure.

🎤  Use the Power of the Pause.

Sounds easy but it’s not! You rush to fill in the spaces. You might chatter nervously or do a quick laugh/giggle at the end of your sentences. Both belie your sense of authority. State your thoughts and then stop. When answering questions you can pause to formulate your thoughts before responding. Become comfortable with silence.

🎤  Be straightforward.

Say what you want to say, even in difficult or awkward conversations. You will appear more confident and authoritative by being direct. Addressing issues is part of your job.

Communication @ Genius Level: Magic Power of Three

Communication @ Genius Level: Magic Power of Three

Walkathon in honor of Andrew Szabo with National Speakers Assoc buddies.

How to leverage Attention Economy

A compelling presentation and/or conversation is never just about the data. BUT your data has to be included. Your ticket to get heard above the noise: Use The Magic Power of Three concept.

Magic Power of Three in action

Andrew Szabo

Last weekend I attended a walkathon fundraiser for a fellow speaker and friend, Andrew Szabo. Andrew has ALS. As we all walked around a golf course to raise money and awareness around this terminal illness I asked, “Andrew, what are some lessons you can teach me that you’ve learned during this challenging journey?”

He responded, “After my diagnosis I met with a psychologist who said, ‘the best journeys I’ve witnessed are with those that have the Three F’s: Faith, Family and Friends.’”.

Observing the Magic Power of Three

You’ve heard me talk about using three categories, sections, silos, reasons, buckets to share your info during a speech or even on an email.

I’ve also asked you to be aware of when others use this strategy. It will instruct you on best ways to get your messages across.

Faith. Family. Friends.

The use of those three words elevates Andrew’s story to an unforgettable message with a wise reminder of what really matters.

Using the Magic Power of Three

On your next digital conversation or zoom meeting or in-person presentation – understand that your audience is multi-tasking, stressed and busy. I challenge you to use the Magic Power of Three to cash in on our limited attention economy.

Author: Karen Cortell Reisman is Founder of Speak For Yourself®, a communication consulting firm, and the author of 2 books on how to communicate. She lives in Dallas, Texas and is extremely fortunate to have faith, family and friends. 

© 2022 Karen Cortell Reisman, All rights reserved

How to Transform Underperforming Teams

How to Transform Underperforming Teams

We have a problem.

My husband and I own three chickens. Of these three chickens only ONE lays blue eggs.

What’s wrong with this picture? 

Two of these three cute chickens are not doing anything. Well, not much…  Two chickens producing just one egg! “Blue Egg” is doing all the work.

Do your teams operate like this? One great producer surrounded by colleagues who look the part; but get nothing accomplished?

Your situation may not be as obvious as our predicament at Star Ranch. You may not even be at the point where your chickens morph into chicken soup.

But, just in case … Speak For Yourself® is now offering Leadership and Team Development Training. Our goal for your organization is to improve your people and culture.

Services include Professional-Quality People Assessments like Checkpoint 360®, ProfileXT®, and Everything DiSC®. These tools include basic personality tests, leadership development tools, professional hiring and development evaluations plus team feedback and multi-rater feedback.

From individual and team surveys, to job fit hiring evaluations, we can help you find the tools you need to make great people decisions across your organization.

If you want to learn more click here.

Our philosophy is to deliver lasting results in productivity, innovation and financial performance. At the very least, we want your chickens to exceed your expectations rather than become chicken soup.

© SpeakForYourself.com/blog             © 123RF Stock Photo

Karen Cortell Reisman, M.S., author of 3 books and President of Speak For Yourself®, works with decision makers on how to speak with gravitas. It’s all in how you speak for yourself. Karen also speaks about her cousin, Albert Einstein, in a message about hope, resilience and brassieres.

#PresentationSkills #BusinessCommunication #OrganizationalCommunication

Karen Cortell Reisman, MS, Executive Communication Author & Speaker

Resilient Leadership

Do you recall how Johnson & Johnson handled the poison scare after seven Chicago-area residents died due to cyanide-laced Tylenol in 1982?

Did you realize that “Colonel Sanders”, founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken, only had a 6th grade education?

Can you picture a successful leader who lacks optimism?

Doug Strouse, Ph.D., author of The Secrets of Resilient Leadership: When Failure Is Not an Option, posed these 3 questions to our group of CEOs the other day.

Doug’s book details six key principles for resilient leadership. The three components he discussed with us were: integrity, perseverance, and optimisim.


To combat the Tylenol nightmare, Johnson & Johnson recalled every bottle of Tylenol at a ‘loss’ of millions. The outcome – a financial ‘gain’. First, there were no additional casualties. Second, the era of tampered-resistant medicine bottles began. Third, Tylenol regained consumer trust and strong market share.

Doug used this example to show that companies and their leaders that do the right thing exhibit one of the most important factors for resilient leadership – integrity.


Doug said that the best predictor of success is “never giving up”. It’s not about being a genius, it’s about tenacity. Colonel Sanders, without a list of initials after his name, went on to found one of the most successful food franchises in the world. On my recent trip to China, there seemed to be a KFC on every corner!

One of my clients, Linda Armstrong, Lance’s mother, speaks on how she never gave up. As a pregnant 16 year old without money or education, Linda persevered. She raised Lance against all odds. You should hear some of her stories on how she got sponsorship for Lance to bike in races when no one knew who that kid was! Linda never gave up. She’s an example of a resilient leader.


Doug defines optimism this way: “it’s not a predictor of the future, but an optimistic leader makes the future happen.” His research shows that where there is hope there is life. A resilient leader sees problems as temporary, not permanent. And then gets to work, one task at a time.

Doug was so convincing that I immediately bought his book. Go to www.wexleyconsulting.com to read more of Doug’s research studies.

The Habits of the Very Successful

The Very Successful Team that works with Dr. Kosoris

Jeff Kosoris, D.D.S., a long time recipient of my quarterly computer newsletter/ezine, sent this email about a recent edition: “Loved the Columbo reference and the 3 questions. But…..you mention that you had lunch with a ‘very successful client’. How did you come to that conclusion….’very successful’?”

So, I schlepped to charming Waxahachie – 45 minutes south of Dallas – to visit with Dr. Kosoris and his team to observe if he and his practice exhibited “very successful” traits.

They did! Thank you to Annette, Cindy, Lana, Merle, Shannon, Susan, Theresa, and Dr. Kosoris for taking time to talk about your careers and this special team.

Here’s what makes this dental practice very successful:

1. Humor. This entire team, including Dr. Kosoris, seemed to have a gleam in their eye. No – not every day and every patient provides them with gut splitting laughter. But they find the humor. I asked them if they had a really funny moment in the practice they’d be willing to share. Watch this video for the answer – once I get it uploaded!!

2. Gratitude. The team is grateful to work for Dr. Kosoris and in this practice. Many of them have been part of the team for over a decade. And this gratitude goes in both directions. Dr. Kosoris said, “My team has lives too. Families, husbands, sick kids. They have the same issues I have. I treat them with respect.”

3. Passion. An old adage goes as follows: Two brick layers sweat over their task of building a wall. When asked how they feel about their jobs the sour brick layer replied, “I just put one brick over another. It’s a job. I punch in and punch out and take my lousy money every Friday.” The second brick layer responded with a smile, “I’m part of a team that’s building a beautiful church.” The difference? Passion. How does Dr. Kosoris help build passion around their dental practice? Through effective leadership and communication.

Dr. Kosoris, Susan and their team has humor, gratitude, and passion. What a pleasure to spend some time with this VERY SUCCESSFUL group of professionals.

Check out this video of the team here

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