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Stacey Hanke

May 10, 2017 by Speakers' Spotlight

Five Action Steps To Ensure You’re Consistent And Authentic All Week Long

Today’s fast-paced business environment requires leaders who can create impact and influence others with sound communication practices. Stacey Hanke has trained over 15,000 executives to influence, persuade, sell, or simply effectively communicate face-to-face with a clear message. Stacey explains the elements of keeping your personal brand consistent, below:

Think of your favorite brand. I’m guessing it’s your favorite because you can always count on the same reliable product every time you purchase it. Take Nike as an example. No matter what city you’re in or what country you’re exploring, if you walked into a Nike store, you can expect the same quality every time.

What does your own personal brand communicate? Do you make your employees guess who is going to show up for the meeting, presentation, one-on-one or virtual conversation? To influence others from the beginning of the week to the end, your brand needs to consistently communicate trust, confidence, knowledge and credibility. Your brand predicts the reputation you create and how people respond to you.

I once mentored the CEO of a large manufacturing company. To give him the opportunity to see and hear through the eyes and ears of his listeners, I recorded him speaking. When we watched the playback, he admitted that his body language was inconsistent with his message. How he showed up for every conversation varied depending on the purpose of the conversation and the stakes. He would essentially lose his authenticity when he delivered presentations.

An influential communicator is always consistent. Their delivery (body language) consistently aligns with their message. For example, an executive who stops you in the office hallway should have the same experience with you at that moment as they do when observing you deliver a high-stakes presentation. If not, your authenticity, reputation and influence are at risk.

If you want to be perceived as authentic, start by never speaking with filler words. You must consistently connect and engage with your listeners during a presentation, meeting, face-to-face or virtual conversation. Your gestures should also serve to support your message and create more impact. When you start focusing on how you deliver your message just as much as the content of your message, your authenticity attracts new customers, builds stronger relationships and puts more money in your pocket.

Here are five action steps you can take this week to hone your authenticity:

1. Ask for feedback from peers, friends and family you trust. There is a strong probability you’re basing your effectiveness off of how you feel rather than fact. Ask those who know you, “How do I come across? What is one adjective that describes the perception you have of me? What can I do today to enhance my reputation?”

2. Get an accountability partner. Within 24 hours of receiving this feedback, identify someone in your personal life and someone in your professional life to hold you accountable. Clearly communicate to them what you specifically want feedback on and how often. Then put in the effort to consistently check in with them. If you’ve ever hired a personal trainer, you’ve probably never told them, “Call me when you’re ready.” You need to take action to work with your accountability partner.

3. Record yourself via audio or video five times a week. If you skip this step, you will never know how others see and hear you rather than what you believe to be true. This step can be done in a snap; the technology you need is right at your fingertips. You can easily record your side of a phone conversation by selecting “record” on your smartphone or iPad.

4. Play it back. Immediately afterward, watch and listen to yourself. Do you come across the way you thought you did during the conversation? Do you come across as trustworthy, credible, confident and authentic? If not, what are you willing to change? What action steps will you take this week to enhance your influence?

5. Avoid throwing in the towel. Enhancing the way we communicate, as well as our reputation and influence, takes focus, discipline and time. The reward and results are worth every bit of your effort.

Stacey Hanke/Forbes