A speech pro explains how to establish gravitas using six key communication skills.
On the very first episode of The Colbert Report, Stephen Colbert satirized the concept of “gravitas,” saying, “If you have sufficient gravitas, what you say doesn’t have to mean anything at all.”
While Colbert was probably exaggerating to get a laugh, the essence of his claim is definitely on target: Gravitas is one of the most important qualities for leadership in all businesses today.
A 2012 study by communications analytics firm Quantified Communications gave empirical weight to that idea, showing that “a speaker’s tone, appearance, and demeanor” was a staggering nine times more salient than the actual content presented.
So clearly, gravitas is important.
In my 35 years of providing speaking coaching to leaders at companies ranging from major multinational corporations to small businesses, I’ve taught critical communication strategies that make owning a room significantly easier. To get you started, here are six concrete ways you can command attention at your next critical meeting and demonstrate the elusive “gravitas.”