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Harvey Schachter, Special to The Globe and Mail
--The Globe and Mail
When Cesar Millan, known on TV as the Dog Whisperer, walks into a room full of canines, the four-legged followers know immediately that he's in charge. His voice, his posture and his gestures all convey his top-dog status. But Cara Hale Alter says the two-legged beasts of the world also could learn a thing or two from Millan. Alter, founder and president of SpeechSkills, says that one of the clear things that puts Millan in charge is his lack of head movement. This level-headed position is one of the best ways that Millan conveys his "executive presence" to a pack of dogs exactly what we should be doing in our careers if we want to convey the same thing to the workplace pack, she says. Alter, whose SpeechSkills is a San Francisco-based communications training company, says many people are unaware of such subtle clues. But she has done research on how we all can do a better job of establishing our authority and capability and put it in a new book, The Credibility Code. "Many people are unaware of the negative things they're doing," she says. "They don't understand how their image is being formed by the way they move or speak." Alter offers this advice for those seeking to look more credible: Stop filling in. A stray "um," "uh" or "you know" can make you sound unsure. Instead, don't be afraid to pause while you search for the next word. Don't sound like a teenager. Ending a statement with an upward rise of the voice used to be common among teenagers but has filtered into adult conversation, Alter says. This "up talk" is easy to pick up, so make sure you haven't adopted the bad habit. Try reading an article out loud, making sure you end statement with a downward inflection of your voice. Control your space. Just as Millan conveys authority with little head movement, you can convey more personal power by controlling a tendency to shift your weight from leg to leg or bob your head. Such movements comfort you, but Alter says you appear more calm and confident if you're still. At the same time, stop trying to reduce your presence by tucking your arms to your sides, placing your feet close together or dipping your chin. Those kinds of behaviors say that you feel threatened in your space. Open your posture. If you feel nervous, you may start to play with your clothing or jewelry, clasp your hands or wipe any expression off your face. The more gestures and facial expressions you have, the more comfortable and relaxed you appear. Alter suggests going to places such as a farmers' market or a shopping mall and interacting with others to practice your skills. Once you become more comfortable, you'll be able to use those skills in business settings. Maintain eye contact. Don't drop your eyes in a business setting because you appear to step away from the conversation. Give speakers and listeners your full attention. To practice keeping your eyes at horizon level while speaking, put blank Post-It notes on your office wall. Ask yourself questions and then hold your eyes on the notes while you give an answer. Finally, Alter suggests videotaping yourself to spot conversational glitches or habits that may be undermining your credibility. "I've had a lot of people tell me they don't think they have any issues, and then I film them," she says. "Once they see themselves on camera, then they're very eager for coaching.
Anita Bruzzese, Gannett --USAToday.com
Nothing you haven't read before if you have an interest in human communications and behaviour but good to have it all packaged up in one book.Published 4 months ago by zawilski
This book is an eye opener with useful information, tips, and strategies on projecting credibility with the correct words and actions. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Alejandra
Other books of this type tend to take an inside to outside approach: you're told to use visualization to work on internal attributes (confidence, charisma, etc), and that the rest... Read morePublished 17 months ago by markx
This book has some great examples and tools for improving professional presence. I'm a fairly confident speaker, but found the exercises in the book enlightening and helpful. Read morePublished on July 9, 2013 by Shawana Karkouki
This book is right on my desk stack. I never do any meeting or presentation without first reminding myself of the main concepts in The Credibility Code. Read morePublished on February 2, 2013 by Roger S. Peterson
Credibility code brings a different perspective - about how to stand out in meetings, how to correct the mistakes in body language most of which everyone does being unaware of. Read morePublished on January 4, 2013 by toyouraj
Not what I expected, the book covers help on how to look and gestures...I was hoping for more info on self confidence, what to say, and how to think.Published on January 2, 2013 by Reviews for you