What is rapport? Tony Robbins defines it as “going from my map of the world into your map of the world.” People listen to you not for your expertise, not for your titles or degrees, but because of who you are. And, believe me, who you are, is not only enough, it’s extremely powerful.

Whether you have a quiet style like that of Ruth Bader Ginsberg or President Obama, or one that’s really out there, like Bette Midler or Robin Williams, it’s who you are that people are after. People often mistakenly use their titles, degrees, and their “track records” to put up an invisible, but palpable, shield between themselves and others. This may keep you safe by making you unapproachable, but the result is that people never really know who you are or what you stand for. As a result, people will never really make a connection with you, and people can never truly trust you.

When you remove that wall, and reveal who you truly are, people not only make a connection with you, they want to listen to you and they want to know you more. They want to understand the way you think and why you’ve come to a particular conclusion—because they trust and value your opinion.

The tradeoff, of course, is that you may in fact be more vulnerable. But experience has taught me, that letting people really know you and know how you’ll come down on an issue because of your consistent approach—even if people don’t like your position—builds respect, loyalty and trust.

There are so many ways that you can build rapport, depending on who you are. It’s important to think fun and think friendly.  For instance, you might use humor as a bridge between people. Humor puts the listener at ease and makes him/her more open and receptive to whatever you may have to say. Just be sure your humor is about universal truths and does not involve race, religion, gender, etc.

 

Ginny Pulos is president of Ginny Pulos Communications, Inc., a speech and media consultancy, and adjunct professor at NYU’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies. She is an expert in presentation, storytelling and persuasion in corporate environments.r (www.ginnypulos.com). 

For more tips on speaking with confidence check our other blog posts. We welcome you to subscribe to our posts and the Ginny Pulos Communications Facebook page.

Having the title “leader,” doesn’t make one. As we saw in the days following September 11 and now in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon, leadership is communicated from within – being you who truly are is not only enough, it’s exceptionally powerful.

Leadership and trust is communicated through our voice tone, the words we use and our body language. When all are consistent, we feel we can trust a person – even if we dislike that person.

On September 11, Guiliani communicated leadership – demonstrating what the world knows of New Yorkers: That we’re tough, that we’re feisty, that we’re persistent in pursuing our goals.  That we don’t give up easily.  At that moment, the entire free world became New Yorkers too.  Party lines dissolved. And now as we watch leaders after the Connecticut school massacre, and the Boston Marathon, it seems as though he truly created the roadmap that modern leaders follow.  See if you can apply these rules to what’s being said by leaders — whether local, regional or national — after the Boston Marathon.

True leaders–whether in the world of business or politics–are  wholly and powerfully themselves.

When you find yourself in the spotlight, remember:

  1. Let people know who you are. Being who you truly are is not only enough, it’s exceptionally powerful.  Use  positive, genuine emotion to speak authentically with your true “voice.”Establish rapport and you’ll be able to answer any question, any time, anywhere  no matter who asks it.
  2. Communicate frequently.
  3. Focus on your message, not on how you’re feeling, and not on how you look to specific audiences.
  4. Be aware of the non-verbal cues you’re sending.
  5. Match your non-verbal behavior (that’s the tone of your voice and what you’re doing with your body and your breathing) to the words themselves.  If these three are in alignment, they create credibility and trust.

Ginny Pulos is president of Ginny Pulos Communications, Inc., a speech and media consultancy, and adjunct professor at NYU’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies. She is an expert in presentation, storytelling and persuasion in corporate environments.r (www.ginnypulos.com). 

For more tips on speaking with confidence check our other blog posts. We welcome you to subscribe to our posts and the Ginny Pulos Communications Facebook page.

The gifted pianist and humorist Victor Borge said, “Humor is the shortest bridge to people.”

Mr. Obama demonstrated the truth of the famed concert pianist’s words when he used humor to devastate the strategy of those trying to stop healthcare reform. He quoted a special interest group’s spokesperson as saying their strategy would “break him” [The President].

The president replied, “This isn’t about me. This isn’t about politics. It’s about a healthcare system that is breaking the back of America’s families and America’s businesses . . .. I’ve got a great healthcare plan. I’ve got doctors following me around all day long.” [Laughter from the press corps.]

The next time you’re in a situation with so much tension you could cut it with a knife, try humor instead. Be sure to stick with humor that doesn’t target race, creed or color. You’ll not only disarm your audience, you’ll build a bridge to rapport and influence.  Great communicators use humor to build a bridge of rapport.

Ginny Pulos is president of Ginny Pulos Communications, Inc., a speech and media consultancy, and adjunct professor at NYU’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies. She is an expert in presentation, storytelling and persuasion in corporate environments.r (www.ginnypulos.com). 

For more tips on speaking with confidence check our other blog posts. We welcome you to subscribe to our posts and the Ginny Pulos Communications Facebook page.

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