The more I travel, the more I realize that in many cases, a lot of folks don’t really carry a lot of credibility. With that in mind, I thought I’d offer up some suggestions on how to be taken seriously. This might be helpful advice if you’re trying to influence someone and might be very beneficial to young people who are trying to find their place in the world. Since the book I just read on The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs suggests using groups of three, I’ll do these over a few weeks, just three at a time.
- Be Current on Current Events. I know most folks don’t care much for the news. Frankly, with all of the UNFAIR and UNBALANCED views of ALL TV news (yes, this includes FOX news), I can’t blame them. Regardless, having a knowledge of current events gives you something to reference when you talk to people. If you read my post on 5 Great Ways to Start Your Day, you know I recommend spending some time each day reading the news. When teaching workshops, I always try to tie in a current event and relate it to the topic. It really gives whatever you do a very fresh look.
- Be Reliable. More and more, I’m impressed with people, events, and services that actually start on time. When someone I book an appointment with shows up on time, it’s more of the anomaly and not the norm. I’m typically shocked when a flight I’m booked on actually leaves on time. Mediocrity seems to be the standard and anything slightly above seems amazing. To be taken seriously, be EARLY and ready to go at the appointed time. I guarantee you’ll make a great impression.
- Be Assertive. Assertive is not to be confused with aggressive. Assertive means that you take the lead in any type of interaction. Introduce yourself rather than wait to be introduced. Offer a firm handshake instead of accepting one. Ask others their name and ask them questions about what they do rather than ask for a favor first. Be an extravert in an introverted world and you’ll be taken seriously. On another note though, if you’re already assertive, be prepared to tone it down if you typically intimidate and annoy others. Assertiveness needs to be practiced with the right amount of balance.
So that’s the first three. Work on these and you’ll have a much better chance of being taken seriously. The standards, sadly, are pretty low. It won’t take much to stand out in a positive way.