Allison Kluger teaches nascent entrepreneurs how to communicate like leaders

Insights by Stanford Business recently interviewed lecturer and coach ALLISON KLUGER about how she teaches students to communicate like leaders.

Allison Kluger
Allison Kluger

Kluger, the Dorothy J. King Lecturer in Leadership in the areas of strategic communication, reputation management and personal branding, spent more than 25 years in broadcast media and entertainment. She hosted and produced at Q2, an offshoot of shopping network QVC, and she was executive producer at the Global Shopping Network. She was an original coordinating producer on ABC’s The View, consulted on the launch of Current TV and helped MSNBC create a live pilot show for Michael Savage.

She shared with Insights four tips to developing executive presence.

1. Be aware of your appearance. Are you dressing appropriately for meetings or events when you’re meeting someone who is new? If you are too casual or sloppy, people will ascribe traits to you — they may think you’re lazy or not senior enough to do your job.

2. Be aware of how you communicate and how you use your voice. Be clear, present and strong, and project an action-oriented aura. Rather than saying “I was wondering” or “Perhaps,” say “I believe” and “My plan is this.”

3. Be aware of your energy. When you walk into a room, do you stand straight, with good energy, and are you prepared to interact? Make sure you’re aware of people and people are aware of you, because if you’re not (and they’re not), they may come away with a neutral or negative impression. Remember that eye contact, a firm handshake, a smile and your first and last words are part of the first impression you make.

4. Consider your differentiating factor. What is it that makes you special, and how do you broadcast it so people are aware of it? Maybe you’re a great runner or you’re good at coding. Blog about it, or create a seminar to teach others. Being an expert at something teaches you how to embrace the spotlight and broadcast your talents to other people, because sharing with others helps you create a network, take a leadership role, and create new opportunities for yourself.

Read more about Kluger’s approach and advice on the Graduate School of Business website.