CEO’s at the Most Powerful Women conference used this word 101 times. 101. It’s a word that we’re advised against using yet it works for them. What is this word and why can they get away using it?
Powerful Women THINK with confidence.
How do they “think” with confidence? It’s all part of the context and delivery. Presentations need to use definitive, vivid words and phrases to convey confidence as a speaker. Furthermore, one needs to use phrases that also strengthen the audience’s understanding of the subject. By using a statement like”To fuel expansion, we invested $5 million and 4,000 man hours in this project” or “We define success by these three factors – ” it increases the speaker’s credibility with the listeners.
Mary Barra, CEO at GM shows how to use think with conviction –
“Where they’re really tested or where you have moments of truth, is when you’re going through a difficult challenge, and what I’m really proud of, and this was not only myself but my leadership team, we demonstrated our values, we put the customer in the center…we were transparent, and I think that’s vitally important, and that has really allowed us to emerge a much stronger company.”
Her use of “think” shows that she isn’t tentative in the actions of her team or the way GM handled a potentially challenging situation. Instead she is able to instill in the listeners that she has taken the time to evaluate the performance of her company and her employees and from there she’s come to an educated, well thought out opinion of the ethics and values that she feels GM should convey daily in all of their interactions.
A single word choice isn’t as important as the sum of the words you choose and how you use the words. Consider the message you are trying to convey in your presentation and choose words that can carry that message through with confidence and credibility. A message that requires a thoughtful approach and shows that informed decisions have been made could use a word like think. A presentation being made to shareholders after a weak earning performance would require more powerful words though.
For more on how to join these powerful women with proper word choice and key words look back at these blogs –