Act like a Boss

You’ll need a commanding presence if you want to lead, says Jeffrey Pfeffer, Ph.D., author of Power: Why Some People Have It–and Others Don’t. Here’s how to beef up your image.

Use your voice
Speak in a loud, strong tone that commands attention. “Interrupting can actually be good sometimes,” Pfeffer says. But don’t let people barge in while you’re speaking; this suggests a lack of control.

Stand tall
When addressing a group, keep a straight posture. Don’t hunch or shrink inward. Elevated physical stature and open body language make you seem more powerful, says Roderick Kramer, Ph.D., of Stanford University.

Add flair
To set yourself apart, wear clothing that’s a bit showier than the norm. “You need to wear something that makes you stand out,” Pfeffer says. This can be a touch as subtle as a handkerchief in your pocket.

Take up space
To magnify the power of your presence in smaller groups, Pfeffer says, try to consume more space than everyone else around you. “Spread your arms and legs,” he says. “Expand.” It’ll feel awkward, but you’ll notice results.

Use your hands
Injecting emotion into a speech is effective, as long as your effort seems natural. “Standing still is not good for a leader hoping to engage others and influence their thinking,” Kramer says.


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