I Lead But I'm Not The Expert

I coach many leaders of technical teams with complex topics.   If the ‘am I technical enough?’ worry is on your mind and it’s holding you back, I hope these tips help.  It’s a common concern and one that’s really worth thinking about.  Call me if you would like to talk about how leadership or communications coaching can propel your confidence and impact to the next level. 

Some people are already experts and are learning to lead and communicate well.  Others are strong leaders but lack all the technical expertise & knowledge they think they need.   With everything in between.  This ‘expert’ concern can hold back both groups from leading confidently, presenting well and ultimately impacts on results.  So how do you tackle it?  

The main point is to gain some perspective on the reality of the situation and then actively shape how you personally want to tackle the job.  Here are some tips that help you work out how.

  • Get Perspective & A Reality Check
  • What is your role today, what are the expectations from your company?
  • What do you offer, why are you the leader?  
  • What Must You Know?
  • Normally, there is technical or structural knowledge you must have to operate. However, it’s unrealistic to think you can be as expert as the ‘deep’ operational experts in your team in every area. You are the leader of the team now and that is different. 
  • Ask yourself what must you know, what do you know, where are your gaps? Does it matter?

What Next? 

  • How will you position your role so that you are not expected to be an expert in all areas? 
  • How will you fill gaps you need to fill?
  • How will you handle meetings, presentations and advising the team?  
  • Can you take a chair role, helping your expert team to shine, asking strong questions?

presentation training, ski person

Tackle Your Presentation Nerves

When I learned to ski as an adult I felt physically sick even getting in the lift to the slopes. I also had my one and only cigarette on a ski slope when I just couldn’t move for fear.  And this all happened on my honeymoon!

So, when it comes to presentation nerves, I totally get it and I have constantly hunted down strategies that can make a big difference.   For many people, presenting is not as bad as my skiing experience. In fact, very often, they are great presenters with tremendous executive presence.   But the impact nerves make on their energy and time is just not acceptable.  Life really is too short and work too busy.

If you’d like to be coached on how to take back control of those nerves and save time and angst, do give me a ring.  There will be a solution that suits you.  (And by the way, I now tackle off-piste ski runs using many of these same strategies!)

See below for some quick tips to try now. Coaching will help you create a routine and a mindset that you can use every time to get you through. 

  1. Divert the pain – put small pieces of grit in the front of your shoes and squeeze your toes when you walk up to present.  This will divert your attention and keep your weight moving forward.
  2. Divert the thinking – how else could you see this? Is your CEO more under pressure than you are?  Are you really there to help – so get over yourself, it’s not about you? (my personal favourite).  Are you even sure what is really winding you up – write it down and ask if that is  really true or how true it is and what is your evidence?
  3. Bore yourself senseless – practice in a boring voice out loud on a bed in front of the mirror, talking to objects around the room.  Do it a few times.  
  4. Make it easy and just a bit boring – ask yourself what is easy for you, before the nerves kick in, then practice in situations which are easy or just a tad more difficult. 
  5. Don’t Give A ****!   Just make a decision to do it and not care.  Go in pretending to yourself that you’ve already got a top new job or won a million dollars.  You’ve nothing to lose.

KineticFuture can coach you to be a world-class communicator and leader. Coaching 1-2-1 and in groups. Clients include Abbvie, Amgen, Gilead, GSK, Novartis, Mars, Pladis, WPP and Barclays. We have six main areas of work: Time to Think™ coachingexecutive presencepresenting and storytellingtricky conversationsresilience and communicating purpose.

Business woman in leadership standing in busy street with executive presence and gravita

Can They Lead Without You?

Can your team lead key meetings without you? They have the technical expertise but well…  ‘they are not you’. Sadly, your bosses, clients and other key stakeholders recognise that they lack the confidence, gravitas and executive presence. The impact of having to be in each meeting on on your time and your team’s development is huge.

We coach Executive Presence. It really is the missing link between merit and success. We base our KineticFuture approach on solid global research and use theatre skills, real simulations, psychology and practice to ensure each person in the group can find their own authentic way forward. Contact us if you’d like to know about our group courses and one to one coaching.

It’s highly skilful coaching work but you can help your team right now with some quick tips and hints below. It’s worth it.

Quick Tips for Executive Presence, Confidence & Gravitas.

  1. Just do it – get them leading meetings without you. They will survive and grow with a bit of guidance. It’s worth the risk.
  2. Super prepare – some of your team will back off the prep because they are scared, others will spend too much time on the wrong things. Give them guidance on what to prepare and ensure they are clear on objectives, key messages and proof points. Can they answer the tough questions succinctly? Rehearse them through it.
  3. Physicality – they can make a huge difference just by rehearsing their physicality in a room. Ask them to walk in, sit down and start to explain the topic. Coach them to sit tall, open arms on the table, make good eye contact and stop any fiddling. Then maintain it come what may. Ask them too where they plan to sit – in easy eye-line of the key decision maker will help.

SOS I’m on Camera Tomorrow

If you’re on camera tomorrow and not happy, here’s one powerful tip that that will help you loosen up. Practice and play with it. The most important point is to remember it’s not about being perfect; it’s about being real and just having a conversation. That’s what the audience want.

Our coaching for camera course will help you find your own style, build your executive presence and work out how you can prep quickly. You’ll find your preferred style, how to tell your story effectively and learn to almost enjoy the camera. You need more than technical camera tips to be your most relaxed self. It’ll help you for Skype and for your Town Halls too. You’ll work with our film directors, voice coaches and communications specialists.

Click on the link below to find out more.

You can have strong executive presence and impact in meetings and presentations. It just takes some work and a coach who can tap into your potential. You can do it! Give us a call and we’ll coach you how. Find out more about our courses here.

SOS My Confidence is Dipping Today

If you’ve got a big day tomorrow and you need to get through, here are some fast SOS confidence tips that work. Click on the links below and survive tomorrow. No one will guess!

If you’d like to build real confidence (and let’s face it, we’d all like more) talk to me about Time To Think™ Coaching. It’s 1-2-1 coaching but not as you know it. You’ll think brilliantly and independently about the challenges that are important to you. (This is me coaching outside the office, by the canal in Paddington – one of my favourite places to work).

In the meantime, follow the tips, phone a friend and you’ll pull off that big day tomorrow.

You can have strong executive presence and impact in meetings and presentations. It just takes some work and a coach who can tap into your potential. You can do it! Give us a call and we’ll coach you how. Find out more about our courses here.