Perfect for young professionals who are just starting out in the work world and those looking to become influential in a powerful way.
I almost cried when I read the message on the card, “In a world full of phonies, you are the real deal!” This came from one of my first clients. And, while he paid me for my consulting services, this one sentence meant more to me than any consulting fee.
I still have this card. I keep it in a “feel-good” file to read whenever I feel down and out. It means a lot to me to be considered a “real-deal.” Although, I have to admit that I had never really thought about what it means to be a real deal. I took it to mean authentic and credible.
But when I read Connie Dieken’s new book, Become the Real Deal: The Proven Path to Influence and Executive Presence, I realized that there is much, much more to being the real deal. In fact, taking on being the real deal can put your career, your company and your personal brand on a powerful trajectory of success and profits.
A New Take on Influence and Powerful Presence
Connie Dieken (@ConnieDieken) is an executive coach to senior leaders at the world’s top brands. Before she started coaching top executives on creating a powerful presence in front of TV cameras and shareholders, she was an Emmy Award winning television journalist who was inducted into the Radio and Television Broadcasters Hall of Fame.
Her last book, Talk Less, Say More: Three Habits to Influence Others and Make Things Happen was a best-seller (and is my go-to book for presentations).
As you can see, Connie has been studying influence for more than thirteen years. She isn’t interested in the kind of influence that is focused on getting people to do “what you want them to do,” but the kind of influence that connects you to your audience in a powerful way that touches, moves and inspires them.
Do You Have These Three Keys to a Powerful Presence?
Granted, some people are just born with presence, but most don’t come by it naturally. Dieken has a track record for turning ho-hum leaders into heroes and she reveals all her tricks in Become the Real Deal.
Following the same simple style she teaches in Talk Less Say More, she delivers her powerful insights to influence in delicious bites of three layers:
- Layer One: Inner Presence: How you experience yourself
- Layer Two: Verbal Presence: How you reveal your messages
- Layer Three: Outer Presence: How others experience you
Each “layer” is a section and each section contains the same general chapters:
- What is Inner, Verbal and Outer Presence?
- Centered (Inner, Verbal and Outer Presence)
- Too Little
- Too Much
- Action Plan
Your job is to read each section carefully, find yourself and your style inside the pages and follow the action plan she has set out for you.
Inner Presence in Action
Let me take you through a mini experience of a section here.
In Layer One: Dieken explains that inner presence is how you experience yourself. This might sound a little “spiritual” she says, but it’s critical to understand if you see your inner presence as an asset or a liability. Then in Chapter two, she takes you through a simple inventory of your inner presence that focuses on your values and beliefs, since these are the primary drivers of how you occur for yourself.
I especially like that she has a decent sized list of values that you can review and then select the ones that you feel best represent the values you live by.
If you’re like me and hesitate writing inside of a crispy new hardcover book, I urge you to get over yourself and mark up the book, taking notes in the margins and going through the exercises. There isn’t exactly a lot of room to write an essay, but there is enough space to write in some notes of what jumps out at you as you read through the material.
Don’t worry, there are plenty of examples of real people working through each process. Some you’ll know, like Condoleezza Rice and some you won’t know, like Steve, a leader who had acquired two companies with different cultures and wanted to successfully integrate them.
Dieken outlines what powerful presence looks like when it’s working and what it looks like when it isn’t. Trust me, you will see yourself in both.
That’s when you will want to move over to the section where she gives you action strategies that you can practice and put in place to hone your presence.
You Can’t Afford to Ignore Your Impact on the World
The one lesson you will get from Become the Real Deal is that you are making an impact and an impression on those around you. The question you have to ask yourself is whether you want to be in control of the impressions you are creating or if you want to just leave it up to chance. I don’t know about you — but I prefer the latter.
Become the Real Deal is so much more than a business book for small business owners. This is a book that should be required reading for anyone who is interested in successfully navigating our always communicating culture.
I would especially recommend this book to young professionals who are just starting out in the work world because they are just forming their professional style. Become the Real Deal will be a powerful asset to their professional development.
My biggest complaint about this book is that it doesn’t come with private lessons from Connie Dieken. I’m being a little facetious, but there is an element of truth in what I’m saying. I think that if you are really committed to honing your influence and communication style, it’s going to be difficult to do it alone. You might consider recruiting some like-minded friends to read the book, go through the exercises together and give each other feedback and coaching.
If you’ve read Talk Less Say More, you can’t afford to miss out on Become the Real Deal. It’s an integral part to an effective communication strategy and style. Once you’ve mastered what you say and how you say it, you’ll not only make your desired impact on the world, you will know that you are, indeed, the “real deal.”
I think that you don’t need to train yourself in presence. You should just become real. Find out the things that you do best and train more in that. Let the real you shine and the right audience will find your presence.