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How to Be Perceived as Powerful

By Marty Nemko

Among the most powerful-appearing people are some witnesses who testify before the US Senate. They share certain characteristics: They speak slowly but naturally. At key points, they speak very slowly. For example, they may say, "There's one point I want to make---very--clear. He then pauses for 1 or 2 seconds (which seems like an eternity) before continuing. To avoid appearing dour, he will, once (not more) use a bit of humor to break up tension.

What can you do today?
Into a tape recorder, practice making a request of your boss. Speak slowly yet naturally. At the moment of truth, slow down even more. Play the tape back. How's it sound?

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