The Best Way to Leverage Your Personal Brand

Career DevelopmentPersonal Branding

The best way to leverage one’s personal brand is to be able to communicate effectively at Level 2 Communication, which I identify as “public communication” or public speaking.

It’s been said that public speaking is one of the greatest personal fears, greater than the fear of death. Jerry Seinfeld has even joked that most people at a funeral would prefer to be in the casket being honored rather than at the lectern delivering the eulogy.

You’ve probably been drawn to some people by their ability to make public presentations in front of an audience. I bet you’ve also been repulsed by some others in similar situations.

Your ability to master public speaking (or not) can make or break your personal brand. Just think of the impression made on you by speakers in both of those scenarios above.

In building your personal brand Level 2 Communication comes into play in other situations other than presenting in front of a room full of people, though.

This is especially important to understand if you are not in a position to do much public presenting, but you do spend time in meetings sitting around a conference room table.

Be it a team meeting at your company or a board meeting for an organization you work with as a volunteer, how well you participate and share your ideas when sitting around that conference table also impacts your personal brand.

Recently, in delivering my most recent teleclass series on The 7 Critical Communication Skills of Confident & Influential Leaders, three participants on the very same call admitted to self-editing in these meeting situations.

Each agreed they had edited themselves because of self-doubt. They edited themselves out of fear of being wrong, fear of presenting the obvious or fear being judged in public, among others.

All could be labeled “fear of damaging their personal brand” couldn’t they?

One person out of those three fought through the fear though to step up to contribute their ideas. This individual was surprised to experience that it was well received! Personal brand enhanced.

The others who caved in to their fears and did not step up may not have damaged their personal brand, but they certainly didn’t add to it.

As with most things in life, no risk, no reward.

Every time I step on a stage to deliver a keynote, a seminar or workshop I’m putting my personal brand and my business brand on the line. It’s a responsibility I do not take lightly.

In all situations that carry an opportunity for public speaking, be it in front of the room or from around a boardroom table you are putting your personal brand on the line, too. Take it seriously.

By taking it seriously, I mean to do something about it. Get some coaching, training and practice.

The best way to do this is with a group called Toastmasters. It’s an international organization dedicated to helping with public speaking in many different contexts and most clubs meet a couple of times a month offering many opportunities for practice.

If you want to build your personal brand, the best way to leverage yourself and build it quickly is with impressive public communication.

If you want help look up your local Toastmasters chapter. I’ve been a member for about 14 years and I still go a couple of times a month to practice new material so I can get even better.