executive presence word pronunciation

To Increase Executive Presence, Sharpen Your Word Pronunciation

Eleni Kelakos Executive leadership coaching, Executive Presence, Peak Performance, speech coaching

I once had the CEO of a company reach out to me to ask if I would coach a member of his leadership team in sharpening his verbal skills so he could increase his executive presence. “The problem,” he explained,” is that this fellow mispronounces a lot of words. For example, he says “acrost” instead of “across,” and “supposably” instead of “supposedly.” He’s in a position that’s heavily client-facing, and I don’t want these verbal slips to undermine his credibility. I know that word pronunciation is a little thing. But I believe it’s often the little things that can hold …

Dance With What You’re Given: A Lesson In Grace From Miley Cyrus

Eleni Kelakos Executive leadership coaching, Peak Performance, presentation skills training, public speaking training, speech coaching, Women in Leadership

It was New Year’s Eve, 2021, and superstar performer, Miley Cyrus, took the stage in her live TV special, singing and dancing while rockin’ a fabulous teeny tiny silver skirt and matching teeny tiny halter top. All was well. Until it suddenly wasn’t: The teeny tiny top suddenly loosened, and Miley’s hands leaped up to hold it up, as she shimmied and sang. For a few moments, she tried to keep up with her complicated choreography. And then, no doubt realizing it would be impossible to keep dancing with her arms and hands immobilized, she backed off the stage, still …

Assertive or Aggressive? What’s the Difference

Eleni Kelakos Executive leadership coaching, Problem Solving, Self Help, speech coaching, Women in Leadership

Years ago, while I was living and working in New York City as a professional actor, I had a passing acquaintance with another performer I’ll call Paula. With a soaring, powerful voice reminiscent of Barbra Streisand, Paula was one of the most talented singers I’d ever heard. As big as her voice was, her drive to succeed as a Broadway musical theater performer was even bigger. She was, however, continuously frustrated by her inability to land the kind of big, splashy roles she not only felt she deserved but could rightfully handle. The more no’s she got, the more frustrated …

Silence Is Not Necessarily Golden

Eleni Kelakos Executive leadership coaching, Peak Performance, Problem Solving, Self Help, Women in Leadership

(Note: The following is excerpted from Claim the Stage! The Workbook, an interactive workbook associated with my book Claim the Stage: A Woman’s Guide to Speaking Up, Standing Out and Taking Leadership. Both will be available to the public by mid-summer) If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my work is that silence is not necessarily golden. Whether you want to step onto larger stages, or share your voice more in meetings or conversations, one thing is certain: Your voice cannot be shared if you choose to silence it. Silence is not necessarily golden (except when your newborn finally falls asleep, or you’ve …

Executive Presence: Switch On Your Video and Unmute Yourself

Eleni Kelakos Executive leadership coaching, Peak Performance, presentation skills training, public speaking training, speech coaching, Zoom Performance Anxiety

When it comes to Executive Presence, I like to say that “presence = being present”. And being present means being willing to truly be in each moment as it unspools. It means allowing yourself to see and be seen, hear and be heard, feel and be felt. If you want to make a real impact, and to amp up your executive presence, you’ve got to be willing to fully reveal yourself. Which is why I’m so fascinated by how many business professionals who say they want to be perceived more as leaders choose to don their cloak of invisibility. And …

Three Ways to be Confident on Camera

Eleni Kelakos Executive leadership coaching, Peak Performance, presentation skills training, public speaking training, speech coaching, Women in Leadership

When the 2020 Pandemic hit, every aspect of my work that I typically did in a room within literal reach of an audience of one many– from executive presence leadership coaching, to group presentation skills training, to giving keynote presentations— moved 100% to a virtual platform. Staring into lens of the Logitech camera perched on the top of my computer screen, I was taken back to my early days as a professional actress in New York City when, after several years of auditioning for and performing in plays and musicals, I started to audition for television and film projects. Though …

3 Ways to Rock Your Short Talk

Eleni Kelakos Executive leadership coaching, Peak Performance, presentation skills training, public speaking training, speech coaching

Sammy, a young inventor, and the winner of a prestigious 30 under 30 award from Forbes, Inc was offered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: To give a short talk about his groundbreaking invention at the prestigious annual Forbes summit.  When he called me to set up some coaching sessions to help him shape his presentation, I asked how long his short talk needed to be.  “Five minutes on the nose,” he replied. Five minutes to give a short talk with career-boosting impact. Five minutes to give a short talk to an audience of deep-pocketed potential investors. Five minutes to give a short …

5 Ways to Beat Zoom Performance Anxiety (ZPA)

Eleni Kelakos Executive leadership coaching, Peak Performance, presentation skills training, public speaking training, speech coaching

As a presentation skills coach and trainer, I’ve spent almost twenty years helping clients manage presentation performance anxiety.  But it’s only been since Covid-19 reared it’s extremely ugly head that I’ve needed to help my clients manage what I’m calling  Zoom Performance Anxiety, or ZPA (and oh, how I wish I could have found a way to make ZAP work instead of ZPA)!  Several presentation coaching and executive presence leadership coaching clients, both new and old, have confessed to a surprising and off-putting fear of speaking while using online platforms like Zoom.  They typically experience Zoom Performance Anxiety when they …

To Boost Public Speaking Confidence, Take Time to Take a Bow

Eleni Kelakos Executive leadership coaching, Peak Performance, presentation skills training, public speaking training, speech coaching, Women in Leadership

Claudia had spent weeks working with me to prepare a high-level presentation for a prestigious conference that would showcase her considerable expertise.  The effort she’d put into developing and internalizing the presentation was almost as mighty as the effort she’d put into managing the anxiety she’d had about giving it.   I was confident that she was ready, and that her performance would make us both proud. On the day Claudia gave her presentation, she shot me a brief text:  “Went great! More when I see you next week.”  Claudia’s brief text sounded triumphant. Which was why I was so taken …

Embrace Your So-Called Mistakes and be Perfectly Imperfect

Eleni Kelakos Executive leadership coaching, Peak Performance, presentation skills training, public speaking training, Women in Leadership

Women are notorious perfectionists. We need to “get it right, and we beat ourselves into a pulp when we don’t. In the corporate world, women are more likely to be perfectionistic and deeply self-critical than the men they work with. This is what Psychologist Peta Slocombe, senior VP of Corporate Health at Medbio, concluded through an Australian survey of 4980 workers from 41 workplaces. I wasn’t exactly surprised to read these findings, because I continously encounter this tendency towards perfectionism in the women who come to me for executive leadership coaching. And, as a recovering perfectionist, I understand all too …

Like Joan of Arc, You Were Born to Make Your Difference

Eleni Kelakos Executive leadership coaching, Peak Performance, Uncategorized

I was shopping at the grocery store, when a quote on a card in the greeting card rack stopped me in my tracks “I am not afraid,” it read. “I was born to do this.” I stepped closer, to read the source of the quote, and was surprised to see that it was attributed to Joan of Arc– a heroine of France who led the French army to victory over the English at Orleans in 1430 when she was eighteen years old. She was ultimately burned at the stake by the English and canonized as a saint. Joan of Arc …

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5 ways to Rock the Podium During Conference Season

eleni-admin Executive leadership coaching, presentation skills training, public speaking training, speech coaching

5 Ways to Rock the Podium. During Conference Season When Spring comes rolling around, I always expect a rash of calls from folks who are slated to deliver presentations at the regional and national conferences that proliferate at this time of year. Some people come to me with a high degree of preparation. Others, well… let’s just say they do what most people tend to do: Wait until the absolute last minute and throw something together in a panic. As a presence and presentation expert who specializes in helping people create and finesse high-level keynotes or breakouts, I’ve heard all …