Monday, April 02, 2007

Projecting gravitas

I just received the page proofs back from the publisher for the next book of mine - The Rules of Entrepreneurship. The book is coming out over the summer, so that's only a few months away.

Anyway, I was editing the editors' suggested changes and I was reading the section on how to persuade investors to give you their money. I'm making the argument that it's not just what you put into your business plan but whether people trust you to deliver on it. So I'm talking about stuff like presence and gravitas. Which I think applies to everyone - whether you are looking to get funding from an investor, a job from an interviewer, or a promotion from your boss. And I came across an interesting quote that I thought made a point quite nicely.

British actor and Hollywood star Sir Michael Caine once observed rather brilliantly in an interview:

The basic rule of human nature is that powerful people speak slowly and subservient people quickly – because if they don’t speak fast nobody will listen to them.

Might be interesting for you the next time you're in a meeting to spot who speaks quickly and who speaks slowly.

More importantly, are you a fast speaker or a slow speaker? And which do you think you should be?