How to Deliver a Powerful and Persuasive Message

When we think about consensus, persuasion, and delivering the very best message, it all starts with communication. My guest this week, Keynote speaker and award-winning journalist Eleanor Beaton shares a wealth of practical knowledge and inspiration on how to be the best leader you can be.

On today’s podcast:

  • Communicate incisively and on point
  • Learn how to position your ideas
  • The challenge of leadership
  • Constantly reinvent yourself if you want to succeed
  • Want more of Eleanor?


Communicate incisively and on point

We know that communication is important. It should be at the foundation of our leadership toolbox. So how do we take the jump from being a good communicator to being a good persuader?

It all comes down to a critical skill that we will see again and again and again in the world’s most successful leaders. To Eleanor, a successful leader is someone who can drive the business outcomes in a way that is also driving happiness, performance, fulfillment both for themselves and for their team.

There are two components you should keep in mind:

  • Stop explaining your ideas, and rather position them. Don’t talk vaguely about your ideas. You want your communication to be incisive and on point.
  • Really dial up how you perform in meetings. Meetings are the critical unit of performance inside any organization. Every important thing gets decided or undone in a meeting.

Learn how to position your ideas

When it comes to positioning your ideas, there are some things you should pay attention to:

  • A controlling idea. Rather than just talking generally, take a position and share a controlling idea: your opinion on where things need to be.
  • Give people the details: the who, what, where, when. Offer them some stories or some examples that drive the controlling idea home.
  • Own the promise. When this group of people follows you, what will be possible?

Where does the confidence come from? Practice, practice, practice.

The challenge of leadership

As a leader, it’s important to be humble, authentic and transparent, but it is also important to have excitement. If you can’t get excited enough to say “This is where we’re going, this is what’s possible for us.”, if you can’t courageously own that, who can? That is the challenge of leadership.

The reality is that the majority of our waking hours are spent at work. We give so much of our time, energy, attention, blood, sweat and tears to our organizations. As leaders, let’s make that count for something.

You have to have the courage to move from being a student to being a teacher. You have to recognize that your insight and your experience have value.

Constantly reinvent yourself if you want to succeed

The leaders who always seem to get the most traction, the ones who are able to tap into the most endless stream of opportunities are those who have taken control of their personal brand, who are contributing their thoughts and ideas in journals, conferences, on podcasts, who are really speaking their truth. You develop the courage to do it through the commitment to take action and to share what you know.

You should be able to reinvent yourself in order to stay relevant. It doesn’t matter how old you are. You can do that in a couple of ways:

  • By making sure that you continue to build your network.
  • By making sure that you are continuously taking on stretch assignments. Find new ways to cultivate your creativity.

Want more of Eleanor?

Check out her show, called “Fierce Feminine Leadership: the Success Podcast for Ambitious Women”. She is on a mission to help her listeners cultivate the courage, the skillset and the inspiration they need to bring the fullness of who they are to their professional world.

What can you expect from her show? Fierce, no holds barred, fun, direct content that gives you inspiration to absolutely be your best.

Jumpstart your creativity

How to Jumpstart Your Creativity

This week I am joined by humorist, speaker, and author Robert Wilson. Robert shares some really funny stories, and some wonderful advice on how to become a better storyteller and bring more innovation to your life, and to the lives of others.

On today’s podcast:

  • Telling stories that make a point
  • Creativity is not a gift, it’s a lifestyle
  • Want to become a risk-taker? Start with baby risks
  • Keep a journal of your achievements


Telling stories that make a point

Robert tries to tell stories that make a point. He usually writes about achievement, motivation, leadership, creativity, and innovation.

Most often than not, what he writes about is what he was dealing with that month. It may not be specific, but he might write on that topic area. He learns a lot from self-reflection and just putting it on paper helps him learn from it. Other people can learn from it as well.

Creativity is not a gift, it’s a lifestyle

Robert has learned over the years that creativity is not a gift. From when we are small, we are constantly told to conform, and by the time we reach adulthood, many of us have repressed their natural creative abilities. Many of us believe that creativity is a gift, when instead it is a skill that anyone can regenerate at any point in time.

You can learn how to re-stimulate your creativity. In Robert’s opinion, creativity is not just a skill, it’s also a lifestyle.

When you are an innovator, you expose yourself to new things all the time: experiences, ideas. By doing so, you open new areas in your brain that otherwise wouldn’t be open. When that happens, you can make more connections.

Want to become a risk-taker? Start with baby risks

Sometimes people are afraid to bring their creativity forward. Creative thinkers are risk-takers. How do you become a risk-taker? You can start by taking baby steps. Innovators have been taking risks all their lives, so they are comfortable with doing that.

You can start small in a number of different ways. For example, if you read the newspaper every day, and you never read a certain section, read it. If you drink coffee every day, switch to tea for a week. Switch hands when you brush your teeth. Write with your non-dominant hand.

Taking risks means there is something that you can lose. You can start with baby risks, in order to get comfortable with that.

Keep a journal of your achievements

It’s a good idea to keep a journal of our achievements. A lot of the times we forget a lot of these little things that we’ve accomplished, and it’s good to read them through and pat ourselves on the back from time to time.

These little achievements build up and they allow us to start building the confidence to do more and more.

We can also observe other people who are accomplishing what we want to accomplish. If we see these people, we can say “If these people are doing it, surely I can do it too”.

Encouragement from others also helps enormously.

What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

My guest this week is leadership coach and author Lolly Daskal. Lolly shares with us what are the seven archetypes that exist in all of us, why they are important, and how they connect to our best version of ourselves.

On today’s podcast:

  • For each of our strengths, there is a weakness
  • The seven archetypes within all of us
  • Awareness is the first form of learning
  • Listen and coach people, don’t try to fix them
  • How to be the best version of ourselves


For each of our strengths, there is a weakness

Lolly’s book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness, is not just a leadership book, it’s also a life book, because it’s based on psychology and human development. Human development makes us into leaders.

She talks about leadership as the core fundamental of human behavior.

Within all of us, there is a polarity of character. For everything that is great about us, there is a gap. For every strength, there is a weakness. In times of stress, even though we have the qualities of greatness and strength, we always go to the gap.

The seven archetypes within all of us

The book opens up with seven archetypes. These are archetypes that Lolly has seen within not only leaders, but in every person she has ever encountered.

The first archetype is the rebel. The rebel wants to make an impact and a difference. The strength to be able to do that is confidence, and we all want to have confidence so that we can be the rebel. But 99% of us who are high-achieving individuals suffer from the impostor syndrome. The impostor has self-doubt.

We have to know what to do when we bump into our gap. If you bump into the impostor, you have to understand where this comes from. The impostor syndrome comes from comparing ourselves with others.

Awareness is the first form of learning

When we do our job, we can’t just be impulsive, we have to be mindful, intentional. Lolly always has small conversations with herself almost like to keep her in check. That’s how we can grow and become the best versions of ourselves.

How can we recognize a gap? Awareness is the first form of learning. Once we know that these seven archetypes do exist within us, we can change our mindset.

Each one of us wants to have greatness in their lives. We all want to leave our mark. But we want to do it in a way that makes a difference. The way to do that is to constantly learn who we are on the inside. To lead outwardly, you first must learn to lead from within.

Listen and coach people, don’t try to fix them

Another archetype is the navigator. Most of the people listening to this podcast are very smart, practical, pragmatic, and successful. But when someone comes to them with a problem, they tell people what to do. Instead of being navigators, they become fixers.

When we should up as a fixer, most of the people think of us as being arrogant. When someone comes to you with a problem, be the navigator: listen and coach them, don’t try to fix them. This is a game-changer.

We are not one archetype or another, we are all of them. These archetypes are based on virtues, and they give you an inner core GPS. They give you the opportunity to find out in each situation which person you need to be in order to be great. If you don’t pick an archetype, you will end up leading from your gaps.

How to be the best version of ourselves

The book is like a blueprint on how to be the best version of ourselves. Because it’s based on virtues, it’s about confidence, loyalty, trust, integrity. If you become these archetypes and you are always conscious of leading from your greatness instead of leading from your gaps, you will be known as an individual who is trustworthy, reliable, and responsible.

The next time you bump into someone who isn’t living up to their potential, offer them help. The next time someone comes to you with a problem, listen to them. The next time someone says “This is how you need to do it”, become the explorer.

The book teaches you what to do in every situation. Greatness is not something reserved for just a few. It can be achieved by every single person. You just have to choose it.

How to Write the Right Book

How to Write the Right Book

My guest this week is a best-selling author and coach Henry DeVries.

Henry is here to teach you all you need to know if you’ve decided to put your thoughts down on paper and finally write your book.

On today’s podcast:

  • The who, what, when, where, why, and how to write the right book
  • How to get started
  • The eight great stories
  • The benefits of independent publishing


The who, what, when, where, why, and how to write the right book

Henry’s mission is to give people the who, what, when, where, why and how of writing the right book that will make a difference for them.

Everyone has a book inside that needs to get out. Nobody really wants to leave this world without getting their book out there. However, a lot of these books won’t serve their authors, they will not help them with their company cause or career. So Henry chooses to be the myth-buster: authors are not promoted by books, instead authors promote the books. That’s the key.

A book is a tool to help you get what you want. Henry thinks that a book is the number 1 marketing tool. Speaking as a result of a book is the number 1 marketing strategy.

How to get started

If you already have a title and an idea about the book, the first step is to create a blueprint for the book. There are some starting elements for the blueprint:

  • A book needs a working title. Henry likes trifecta titles:
    • They work as speech titles
    • They work as book titles
    • You can get the .com URL (the domain name) so that you can start to create a little fence around your intellectual property
  • The book also needs a working subtitle about the promise, the outcome that people want.

How do you figure out if the title is right? You start with a working title. Henry calls it “The North Star”. You should always go for clarity when choosing your title. And then try to be congruent with your audience: they need to know what your book is about by looking at its cover.

The eight great stories

After you have a working title and a URL, you have to understand the eight great stories. There are eight great stories that humans are hardwired to hear:

  1. The overcoming the monster story
  2. The underdog story
  3. The story about a comedy
  4. The story about a tragedy
  5. The story about a mystery
  6. The story about a quest
  7. The story about a rebirth
  8. The story about an escape

The story you choose dictates its table of contents. There is a different table of contents for an overcoming the monster story (it’s a problem-solution table of contents) and a different one for a quest story (it’s about a call to this quest).

You need three parts in a book. The biggest mistake new authors make is the fact that they want to launch into part two of their book, without having written part one. Part one is the why, part two is the how, and part three is the what’s next.

You need to start with the why and tell the reader why this is important. In chapter two you ask the question: “If this is important, how do we fix it?” It’s the how, the guts of the book. Afterwards, there needs to be an aftermath.  

The benefits of independent publishing

You can record your thoughts, and take notes for each chapter. You can find a service to do the transcription for you. You can also hire an editor or a ghostwriter to help you.

There are many technologies and techniques to get the thoughts out of your head and down on paper so that others can read them.

Traditional publishing can be an ordeal. You have to make a proposal, it can take months for them to decide whether they will publish your book or not, then it might take a year to get the book out there. That’s the old way of doing things.

Henry helps authors be independently published. This is not the same as self-published. Independently published means that you hire experts in the field who know editing, art design, book production. For most people it’s a zero net sum investment: if you sell 1000-2000 books, which is doable if you really market your books, you can earn all the money you invested in the publishing back.

If you choose independent publishing, you retain control of the project and of the intellectual property.

The real money is in getting hired as a speaker or as a consultant or coach. Experts with a book can speak in the $5.000-$10.000 range.

Shepherding: A New Model of Leadership

Shepherding: A New Model of Leadership

My guest this week is Holly Culhane, founder, and CEO of Presence Point, a non-profit organization that supports leaders in their journey of becoming shepherds to their people.

On today’s podcast:

  • Shepherding: servant leadership in action
  • Shepard leaders genuinely care about their people
  • Key elements of shepherding
  • How to bring shepherding to your company
  • How to be a good servant leader
  • How do we measure our success as servant leaders?


Shepherding: servant leadership in action

Shepherding is a tweak of servant leadership. Servant leadership allows us to take our workforce into consideration. If we want to be successful as leaders, we have to serve our employees more than they serve us.

What is the true measurement of leadership success? Good employee engagement, satisfaction, productivity, and how the employees treat the customer. We’ve got to treat our employees like they’re our customers.

When you put other people first, you have more success in your own life.

Shepherd leaders genuinely care about their people

In today’s workforce, 50% of employees are millennials. They are also starting to take leadership roles, along with boomers and Xers.

Shepherding emphasizes presence. Presence requires you to be fully engaged, and millennials expect full engagement.

We might think that millennials are unengaged, as they are often texting or emailing. In reality, they want engagement and they resonate with people who care for them genuinely and deeply. And that’s what servant leadership represents.

A shepherd is the ultimate example of a servant because he lays down his life for his sheep. This changes the whole approach on how people work and accomplish their goals.

Pivotal elements for shepherding

There are three key elements for shepherding.

The first one is provision. Provision is to care of or to furnish or supply the need of another. Leaders should ask themselves: “Are we providing equipment, hardware, software, ergonomically correct chairs, and the information our employees need to do their job well?”

The second element is protection, the act of safeguarding. How do we shield our employees from harm? If there is a conflict, we need to step up. Sometimes we even need to protect them from themselves.

The third element is presence. Presence is being at hand, even if you are not there physically.

Bringing shepherding to your own workforce

Every responsibility of a leader falls under one of these three categories.

So how do you bring shepherding into your own organization? First, you need to figure out how it applies to you.

You can start by looking at how you were led in the past. You should look at the effects of good or bad leadership styles.

How to be a good servant leader

We need to have the vulnerability of being honest and open enough to say “I blew it, let me fix it”. Just because we’re in a leadership position, it doesn’t mean that we’re free from mistakes or from failure.

Many leaders think they shouldn’t be too vulnerable because they would give people too much information and they won’t be respected.

A servant leader is willing to say “We need to work on this, I’m struggling here”. The difficulty with servant leadership is not just our pride, it’s also our fear. We have to move from pride and fear to humility and confidence.

How do we measure that we are successful as servant leaders?

If you want to know whether you are doing a good job as a servant leader, you just need to ask. Do a monthly or quarterly check-in. Ask your employees:

  • Am I giving you what you need?
  • What do you need to be more effective in your role?
  • Do you have all you need to serve the customer?

The Importance of Having a Personal Strategy for Success

Impact strategist Avery Blank is our guest this week. She talks about why having a strategy is crucial to your success, and how to create one and progress your career.

On today’s podcast:

  • It all starts with your strategy
  • How to become a strategic thinker
  • Make small steps
  • Market yourself for maximum exposure
  • Keep up with the news


Before you start, you need to have a strategy

Leadership is both an art and a science. You have to be able to understand the science before you can paint the portrait of organizational success.

Success doesn’t happen by chance. American comedian Milton Berle once said that if opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.

Women are expected to mostly be team players, and not be so much focused on themselves.

Being strategic about your career is about having a plan: knowing where you want to go and how to get there. Strategy is a key to success.

How do you become a strategic thinker and use it to progress your career?

First, you need to think about what you want, and then identify the steps that will lead you to your goal.

Second, you need to be aware of what’s going on around you. You may have a goal, but you also need to understand how other things might impact your goal. You need to understand the context in which your goal sits.

Third, put yourself in other people’s shoes. Understand what it is that other people want or value. In order to add value, you have to be valuable to someone else.

Where should you start developing your strategic plan?

You have to take small steps. Sometimes our goals are massive, and we don’t know where to start.

Make daily, weekly, monthly sub-goals that continue to move you closer to your ultimate goal.

Also, write it down. When you see it, you can pursue it better. Sometimes people are hesitant to put down numbers.

Share your goals with others, if it helps you to be more accountable. If you are not intrinsically motivated to achieve your goal, it’s going to be difficult for you to do so. It has to come from you. You have to want it more than anyone else.

How do you market yourself for maximum exposure?

Your mindset is critical to your future success.

You are your best advocate. You have to identify your opportunities. Every great company has a marketing team. You have to think of your career as your business, and you have to be your own marketer.

It’s absolutely critical to know what is going on around the world. Our knowledge is only valuable if it’s timely. People are not going to listen to you or pay for your services if what you say or what you provide is outdated.

The brands that survive are the ones that keep up with the times. Your career is your business and your brand.

You should ask yourself these questions:

  • How does my knowledge apply to what is happening in the world?
  • How is the world impacting my work?

Keep up with what’s going on around the world

Avery is constantly reading, keeping up with the news, with current trends.

It takes discipline to stay updated with what’s going on in the world.

Staying current with the news is a career advancement strategy. Some people think it’s wasting time. It’s not. It’s strategic.

Keeping up with the news allows you to see opportunities.

Think and Grow Rich for Women

Think and Grow Rich for Women

Keynote speaker and business strategist Sharon Lechter believes that financial education should start at an early age.

She also wants to empower women to take control of their lives and explore a myriad of business opportunities.

On today’s podcast:

  • Are you feeling stuck?
  • Take control of your life and commit to it
  • Stop complaining and focus on the progress you’ve made
  • Fear will always hold you back
  • A board game for teenagers can teach them about finances


Feeling stuck?

Sharon wrote a book inspired by Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich, but oriented towards women. Her book is called Think and Grow Rich for Women.

In another of his books, Outwitting the Devil, Napoleon Hill focuses on the things that hold us back, on the obstacles that we create in our own minds.

Outwitting the Devil and Think and Grow Rich helped Sharon transform her mindset. If you feel stuck, you should go and read Outwitting the Devil, with Sharon’s annotations.

Take control of your life and commit to it

Sharon believes that the steps to success are the same for men and women, but we tend to approach them differently. She asks women how much money and impact they want to make, and what is their deadline.

Sharon was getting frustrated with the conversation about work-life balance for women. When you start striving for success, you are ashamed of losing your balance. However, nobody is in balance. Women have so many more components in their lives, besides work and life: their financial, physical, spiritual, business, family and friends sides.

If you feel guilty about what happened yesterday, you will waste precious time today. Just acknowledge it and spend today differently. Take control of your life and commit to living one big life.

Women should stop complaining, and focus on their progress instead

More and more women are coming to the business table. When men and women are both at the table, you have the best of both worlds.

Sharon was getting frustrated with all the negativity, with women complaining about the men holding them back. Complaining attracts negative things. Instead, women should earn their status, and celebrate the progress they’ve made. If women focused on the positive, they would see more change quicker.

Sharon’s goal was to change the dialogue towards positivity and celebration.

Fear will always hold you back

At the end of the day, we have things that are embedded in our psyche that create fear. This fear holds us back from achieving the success that we deserve. It’s not just fear of success, it’s also fear of poverty, illness, criticism.

When you think about the subject of money, what did your parents say about it? Most likely they’ve made negative comments on it.

As a result, it’s no wonder that we grow up with this fear of money, of scarcity. Money becomes an emotional subject. We’re afraid we will never have enough. When we become successful, we’re afraid we’re going to lose it.

Once you acknowledge all that, you can release it and start looking at the world of abundance that we’re truly living in.

Time to play

Sharon also helped developed a board game for teenagers, ThriveTime for Teens. She wants to help young people make better financial choices.

The board game introduces the concepts of assets and liabilities. It also has a lot of humor. Every situation in the game has happened to either one of Sharon’s children, or to one of Sharon’s friends’ children.

ThriveTime creates a lot of conversation around the table. It also creates the opportunity of having the money conversation with your children, without it being so personal.

Mastering Your Elevator Speech

Mastering Your Elevator Speech

On this episode of The Ultimate Leadership Podcast, speaker and coach Fred Miller shares his nuggets of wisdom on how to deliver the most effective elevator speech to take your business to the next level.

On today’s podcast:

  • Elevator speech vs elevator pitch
  • Delivering your elevator speech in a group vs one-on-one
  • Phrases you should use
  • Clarity is not optional
  • Be conversational
  • Practice, practice, practice


What is an elevator speech?

There is a difference between the elevator speech and the elevator pitch.

The elevator pitch is about pitching your product or your service. The elevator speech is giving an infomercial of yourself.

The DNA of Fred’s elevator speech is: “Speaking opportunities are leadership, career and business opportunities”.

When you discover your why and make that the DNA of your elevator speech, it changes everything.

Goals of elevator speeches

In a group, the goal of the elevator speech is wanting people to know exactly what you do. Clarity is not optional.

For a one-on-one elevator speech, you want to disqualify the people you are interacting with. Not everyone is a prospect for what you do and your time is limited.

Go-to phrases that work

An elevator speech is a speaking opportunity that can boost your career. If you don’t develop and practice one, you are losing opportunities.

An important phrase to use is: “Businesses hire me because…” You shouldn’t say “I work with…, I help them with…” “Because” is an influencer word.

If you are not comfortable with the phrase “They hire me”, don’t use it, because it will come across that you are not comfortable. You can say “They become my clients” instead.

A friend of Fred who works in real estate uses the phrase “People choose me”.

If it’s hard to pronounce, leave it aside

If you have a hard to pronounce last name, you should introduce yourself using only your first name.

You shouldn’t use buzzwords or acronyms. Clarity is very important.

People should have different elevator speeches for different audiences.

Practice is the key to perfection

You have to deliver your elevator speech in a conversational manner. You have to practice, practice, practice.

You should record yourself using audio and video. Then watch it again with the sound off. Check your body language.

The second time, just listen to yourself. The third time, watch and listen. The fourth time, have someone next to you.

Seven Secrets to Better Communication

Seven Secrets to Better Communication

We are joined by author and coach Denise Dudley who shares her seven communication components to ensure state-of-the-art communication and maximize your success.

On today’s podcast:

  • Denise’s seven communication components
  • How important is eye contact?
  • Mastering the art of handshaking
  • Hand movements done right
  • Control your voice tone
  • Avoid using fillers


Keep an eye on your facial expression

Oftentimes people assume that communication will happen naturally. In order to be a really great communicator, we need to study our communication skills.

Denise teaches seven communication components. The first one is facial expression.

Initial research showed that the first impression occurred in 10-15 seconds after talking to someone. Recent research has discovered another first impression that occurs in under one second. This impression is based on facial expression.

When you first look at another individual, the best facial expression to have is a neutral-to-positive open facial expression.

How important are eye contact and posture?

Denise’s second component is eye contact. We should mostly make eye contact, but we should break it a little bit every once in a while.

If we stare at someone and never look away, we tend to come off either as aggressive or attracted to the person.

The third component is your posture. We should make sure our posture is straight and erect, shoulders back. Posture will communicate to people whether we are interested or engaged, or even reliable.

What about the handshake?

In order to make a positive impression with your communication skills, you need to control your handshake. When we are shaking hands with someone, we are offering the person visual, tactile, and auditory information about ourselves.

A handshake communicates whether you are assertive, passive or aggressive, or whether you are glad to be there.

The just right handshake is firm but gentle. Along with the handshake, you are making direct contact, smiling and saying your name.

Use your hands more

The fifth component is about your hand movements. You should use your hands to describe and elaborate.

If you are nervous and fidgeting with your hands, put them on your side.

You shouldn’t touch your face or your hair if you are sitting at a table or in a group.

Control your voice tone

The sixth component is voice tone. It communicates whether you are feeling powerful or sure of the message you are delivering.

If we want to sound powerful and assertive, we should stay in the lower ranges of our voice tone.

Women tend to speak a bit higher. They have a widely varying intonational pitch pattern. That means that women like to go up and down the scale.

Avoid using fillers

The seventh component is loudness. A lot of people are too soft or too loud, and it becomes too distracting to the listener.

If we are too soft, people are making an effort to hear us. It is the speaker’s job to look for feedback in the listener to make sure they are loud enough.

We should also pay attention to our content and avoid using verbal crutches. These are repetitions of “um…” or “you know”. It’s more powerful to be silent than to use fillers because they take away your credibility or your power.

In order to become a great communicator, you have to practice, practice, practice.

How to Ace Your Interview

How To Ace Your Interview

On this episode of The Ultimate Leadership Podcast, career coach and bestselling author Thea Kelley shares her expertise on how to build a proactive strategy prior to your interview to finally get that job.

On today’s podcast:

  • Why is interviewing so terrifying?
  • It’s not enough to be qualified for the job
  • Find out what your key selling points are
  • REV selling points
  • How to come across as authentic
  • Don’t recite, be conversational instead


Why is interviewing so terrifying?

It’s very natural to be nervous about an interview. A lot of it is about fear of the unknown, a lack of control. You don’t know what to expect.

You should take control by having a proactive interview strategy. This is where leaders have an advantage because they are used to strategic planning.

You won’t get the job just by being qualified

The company may be interviewing an average of five candidates, all of whom are qualified.

Your task is not just to show that you’re qualified, but to stand out. To make yourself memorable as the best candidate.

It’s not a matter of magic, it’s a matter of having a proactive strategy. Most candidates will go to an interview without an overall strategy.

Brand yourself

Strategy has to be complemented with authenticity. Strategic planning has a lot to do with strengths and weaknesses.

You need to make an effort to identify what makes you stand out. What are your key selling points?

Start with making a list. You can ask yourself these questions:

  • What do I do better than most?
  • What skills do I have that are hard to find?
  • What’s my most impressive accomplishment in the last 5 years?
  • Is there anything impressive about my career trajectory?
  • What would my clients or managers say it makes me especially valuable?

Be REV: Relevant, Exceptional and Verifiable

The best key selling points to emphasize in an interview or on a resume need to be REV: Relevant, Exceptional and Verifiable.

The first interview question is important. You can answer it with an introduction that focuses on your key selling points. Right off the bat, you’re hitting the interviewers with a few memorable points about you.

You should use stories and examples from your work that illustrate your top selling points.

People tend to remember what they heard first and what they hear last. So you should end your interview by bringing your key selling points up again.

How to come across as authentic

Authenticity starts with telling the truth but goes beyond that. You can tell the truth and still come across as not being authentic.

One of the things that makes people sound inauthentic during an interview is reciting. It appears that they don’t have faith in their communication abilities enough to say it in a natural way.

If you’re reciting something you’ve memorized, you are not as believable.

Being conversational is part of being authentic. Painting a picture with stories and examples also makes you more authentic.