Try these tips to command the stage next time you speak publicly

Your demeanor, before and during your talk, is every bit as important as the content of your presentation. Here’s food for thought.

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As much as you might prep and plan, speaking in front of a group of people can be daunting.

You not only have to captivate your audience’s attention, but you must also come off powerful, polished and precise. Here are proven methods to get your executive swagger on the next time you have to enter and hold a room:

The grand entrance

Entering a room for the first time is crucial to setting the tone for how your audience will perceive you and then listen (or not listen) to you. Before entering, run a mental checklist:

1. Be bold. Many people walk into a room timidly, not wanting to appear presumptuous or self-important. No one likes arrogance, but an air of confidence reassures people that their time won’t be wasted. Walk in with pep in your step. You’re supposed to be there; act like it.

2. Hold your breath. Expand your lungs, and hold for a bit; then exhale upon saying hello or introducing yourself. This is an old stage trick that many use but few discuss. Upon exhaling, you draw blood to your face, giving a lively, confident appearance.

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