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Stage and Screen Presence For The Professional Woman

Whether you realise it or not, every day you will find yourself on a "platform" where you'll be presenting, be it on stage, in a meeting room or in front of a screen.

Officially you may not have "speaker" as part of your job description but the truth is we are all speakers.

Like most professional women you will be required to step up and speak whether it be on a stage, in a meeting room, at an event, on a podium, in a lecture theater or pitching to key stakeholders.

Your leadership brand is the first element of your executive presence that provides insight into who you and what you are about as a person.

With our world becoming smaller and teams becoming global, there are a plethora of virtual communication tools that allow you to be seen and heard. So how are you leveraging your Leadership brand for maximum impact?

Let's dive deep and explore ways to maximise your leadership brand for both stage and screen.

1. Align your personal style to your audience

Each speaking engagement may require you to alter your personal style depending on your audience and objectives. Select three adjectives that give you a framework of how you want to be perceived. Whilst it's important that you consistently deliver on your personal brand, there will be times that you need to make slight adjustments so that you have impact and influence with your audience. There is a great concept called "Yin/Yang" that I teach my clients who are speakers and those who need to wield influence. Click here for more information.

2. Select your stage outfit

Ultimately have this action completed one week prior to the event/session. This will allow you ample time to try on your outfit and rehearse. This will also help you visualise yourself in the moment and what you will look and feel like.

If you are planning to present from a large stage, avoid too many stripes, checks, small patterns and bright colours. Block solid colours usually work best. The fit of your clothing is also important. Ensure there are no pulls going across your hips or chest particularly if you will be moving about the stage.

Ensure you know what the background colour is. For example, some TED talks are held in a room with a black background so it's best not to wear black otherwise you'll look like you have a disembodied head.

Don't forget to consider your accessories. Avoid dangling jewelery that could interfere with microphones.

3. Colour Contrast

Whenever you are giving a presentation to a smaller audience, the best contrast to aim for is “medium”. Medium contrast is when you combine a light colour with a dark colour in your outfit as seen below. This level of contrast has just the right amount of colour to keep the audience engaged without distracting them from your message. This will be especially important if listeners can only see the top half of your outfit.

If you are presenting from a large stage, wearing high contrast will give you presence. 

There are 3 levels of contrast, high medium and low. Here are examples.

4. Colour Placement

If colour is the very first thing our eyes notice then colour placement becomes paramount. Our main communication portals are our eyes and mouth. Ideally, when talking with someone, we want them focused on what we are saying. Placing colour high up in your business outfit will ensure the focus is on your message. Consider a high-placed accessory, lipstick, earrings, tie, glasses, brooch, scarf as your vehicle to direct others to where you want them to look.

5. Influencing Triangle

Did you know that the FIRST thing people remember about you are elements to do with grooming, rather than the specific clothes you wear? That might come as a surprise to some of you reading this post.

When watching T.V presenters, many times we can only see them from the waist up. Our eyes quickly scan and take in the whole picture and then our eyes typically rest on a portion of the body known as the influencing triangle. This area is at a point at the breastbone and then comes up and out – taking in the whole of our head. We specifically notice their hair, skin, eyes, teeth and lateral details around attire. If you are presenting on a screen the influencing triangle will play a big role in how you display your leadership brand.

6. Don't neglect your shoes

Test and break in your shoes. There would be nothing worse than trying to move around a stage or meeting room in pain. All women reading this post will know exactly what I mean. Don't forget that your shoes could be at eye level with the audience if you are speaking from a stage so make sure the heels and toe are in good repair.

7. Bring your energy

Energy, when it comes to conveying commitment, is not about movement, but about focus and passion. The communicator’s mouth and voice carry this energy – and the body naturally follows. To get you in state consider power posing and using affirmations to increase your energy levels before presenting. Did you know that Tony Robbins gets himself in the zone for about ten minutes prior to taking the stage. He gets his body “awake and alive” by jumping up and down, spinning around, fist pumping, stands with his arms outstretched, and even bounces on a trampoline. He has enough energy to keep 4,000 people engaged for 50 hours over four days (WOW)!

8. Consider your vocal pace

There will be times when speaking slowly gives your audience the mental space to breathe and take in what you have to say. This allows you to connect with them at a high cognitive level. During a teleconference, your voice is the whole thing, your only personal signature. Use all of it! It can help you convey all that you intend: precise meaning, level of confidence, and conviction. Respect the power of the pause. Be especially sensitive if the call is global or includes any participants whose first language is NOT English.

In essence, think of every speaking engagement as an opportunity to create a TED-like talk. It's an opportunity to share your unique message and for your personal and professional brand to gain visibility and authority. Many professional women want to have more visibility and this is a great way to achieve it.

If you are a professional woman and you'd like to learn more about how to leverage your personal brand, come and join me and 20 other ambitious women and learn, The Art Of Self Packaging For Success. Click here to register. Limited seats. 


Are You Holding Yourself Back By Not Taking Action?


Some of you reading this article will know me well and will know why I feel so deeply driven and focused on helping professional women close the leadership gap. Some of you may have only started to learn of me and I'm grateful you have joined our community of ambitious, heart centered women. Let me share a piece of me.

Back in 2004, I was a senior executive working at Roche, and enjoying what I was doing and enjoying the people I worked with. 

I was the "head down, bum up" executive that believed in meritocracy. I thought that my work should speak for itself and if I just continued to focus on that then I would be noticed, recognised and heard.

  • By pure luck, I was noticed
  • By pure luck, I was listened to
  • By pure luck, I was recognised

BUT what are the chances that I would always be working on a high profile project? I realised that

  • LUCK was not a career plan
  • LUCK was unpredictable
  • LUCK was passive

Question: Are you relying on luck to be noticed, listened to and heard?

Having spent the last few months creating, "The SELF Leader Brand Map", I took everything I have learned from being a senior executive for twelve years and a personal branding expert for the past ten years and collated all the feedback that I had received from serving over 3000 professional women.

I went back to basics and thought about the six core human needs which are:

  • Certainty - need for stability, predictability, and consistency (pillar 1 & 3)
  • Uncertainty - need for variety and change (pillar 2 & 3)
  • Significance - need for meaning and having a sense of importance (pillar 1, 5 & 6)
  • Love and connection - need for communication and to feel connected (pillar 1, 4 & 5)
  • Growth - need for spiritual connection (pillar 4 & 5)
  • Contribution - need to give beyond ourselves (pillar 5 & 6)

Each of the six pillars in, "The SELF Leader Brand Map" addresses these six core human needs. By understanding who are you for personal growth, how to package yourself for significance, how to communicate your value for connection and recognising that being of service is a gift, you will find true joy and fulfillment in your career and life as I have.

How are you meeting these six core needs in your life and career?

The only way you will succeed is to take massive action. You need to lead yourself and be the driver of your success and happiness. It's not up to your boss, or your partner, or your colleague to help you get noticed, recognised or heard. It's all up to  YOU. You only have one life to live! So what will it be?

If you are serious about finding true fulfillemnt in your career and life then I want to help you make that happen. 

I am now taking final placements for, "The SELF Leader Brand Map". Its taking place 29.09.17

Click here to register your interest and together we can see if this program is the right fit for you.

I'm looking forward to hearing your story and helping you find true joy and fulfillment from your career and life.

Until next time,

Janette x

Success is not about competition, it's about contribution

Success is not about competition; it's about contribution.

That was the message by organisational psychologist, Adam Grant during his Ted Talk. 

Many of you will know of Adam Grant as the co author to Sheryl Sandberg's latest book, Option B.

He urges organisations to reward and recognise "GIVERS". Those people who are always happy to take on additional projects and always happy to help colleagues.

I know many of you feel like you go unrecognised at work, and I know you always go the extra mile to ensure you deliver. You are GIVERS.

Adam wants to live in a world where GIVERS succeed and so do I.

This is exactly why I created The SELF Leader Brand Map.

This program is designed to provide GIVERS with tangible techniques to help them find their voice, create presence, lead with confidence and find their purpose so that others recognise just how lucky they are to have them in their team and organisation.

The final step of The SELF Leader Brand Map is dedicated entirely to being of service (contribution). This will create more fulfilled GIVERS because organisations and the world need more of them. 

What I have personally discovered through my own journey is that the more I GIVE the more I RECEIVE in terms of true fulfillment and happiness and I want the same for you.

Having served over 3000 professional women during my ten years as a personal branding expert, I have built a strong awareness of what women want and what they need.

I know I'm in the best position to advise clients on what the corporate market is looking for and equally to advise corporate organisations what employees are looking for from them.

The idea for The SELF Leader Brand Map came about because I kept hearing clients tell me:

  • They were being over looked for promotions
  • They feel like they're given less credit for their ideas 
  • They are interrupted more in meetings

When I have shared this feedback with senior decision makers in organisations, the over riding feedback was that they want to empower their employees to take their careers into their own hands and carve out their success without having to wait for someone to tap them on the shoulder.

And this feedback was backed up by a large global survey conducted by Right Management, 2015, which identified that 89% of employees believe they are or need to be responsible for the development of their career. 

So my question to you: Are you the driver or passenger of your life and career?

Are you going to keep making excuses as to why you're not getting the promotion, why your ideas are not being heard, why you feel invisible?

What I know for sure is that those individuals who invest in their professional and personal development and take massive action, are the ones who reap the rewards and find true fulfillment. 

You playing small doesn't serve you or the world in any positive way.

As women, together we will accomplish amazing things. When a woman helps another woman, they both benefit. And when women celebrate one another’s accomplishments, we’re all lifted up. Together women can do more, go further, and change the world. 

Come and join me 29.09.2017at The SELF leader Brand Map. Together we can do more, contribute more!


How Uber and Airbnb Will Change The Face Of Leadership

In a world where customers and service providers can now rate each other, could this situation be extrapolated to the corporate landscape?

Uber, Airbnb and many other service providers allow us to rate the service we receive and in turn, the service provider is asked to rate the guest.

What if employees could compare leaders based on their personalities, behaviors, decisions and leadership styles. What if it was up to the leader to compete for talent in the public marketplace and to meet the wants of employees? I recently read an article by a colleague on LinkedIn that had me contemplate a new corporate concept and in turn the implications of what this could mean for leaders of the 21st century.

So how would this scenario impact you as a woman in leadership?

  • If you are aspiring to a leadership role, you need to invest in your leadership skills so that you attract team leaders and peers to you. By refining your skills you'll you'll always be ready for the next big opportunity.

  • I have no doubt that more and more leaders are looking for team members that have solid values and display those through every aspect of their role. Team members and team leaders seek greater fulfillment and purpose from their work. Being fully aware of what drives your motivation will put you in a place of securing a role that serves you well beyond the financial returns.

  • We are on display now more than ever. We now compete in a global marketplace. Understanding who you are, what you do, how you do it and why you do it will help you articulate your value both internally and externally. 

  • Leaders, in this world, have to model the behaviors they seek. If you want to attract talent to your team or organisation you must lead yourself first before asking others to lead with you. 

So if today you were competing for talent, how would others view and rate you and your leadership skills? Would they want to be led by you?

Now is your time to drive your success as a leader.  The world is finally ready for empowered women.

If you are in or aspiring to a leadership role and would like to really maximise your LEADER BRAND for career success then please watch this video.

Join me and other select action takers on the 29th of September for a one-day intensive program called The SELF Leader Brand Map.

This one-day intensive program has been designed for the emerging leader who aspires to lead a team or already leads a team and wants to increase their business impact, grow their influence and boost their leadership brand.

It's for the professional woman who knows that she must be the driver and instigator of her career and ultimate success.

I look forward to taking this journey with you.


P.S I have capped the number of participants so we can keep the group at a size that is conducive to interaction and learning. So don't put your career on hold, register your interest and together we'll determine if this is the right program for you. 

Three Ways To Power Up Your Leader Brand To Increase Your Impact, Influence and Income

I've had many mid career professional women tell me that they have been told they “aren’t ready” yet for leadership positions they seek.

For many, it came as a surprise and to others, it was the nudge they needed to power up their LEADER BRAND.

Make no mistake, professional women are ambitious. According to a national survey conducted in 2016 / 2017 by Women's Agenda, (39.14%) of professional women ticked ‘looking to earn more’ as one of their ambitions for the next 24 months. It came up well ahead of other options like ‘aiming to get a promotion (32.74%).

One under utilised tool women have at their very disposal which can help them earn more money and yield greater influence is by harnessing the power of their LEADER BRAND.

If I asked you, "What makes a LEADER BRAND Strong"? what would you say?

And if you had to make yours stronger, would you know how to do it?

Your LEADER BRAND doesn’t just incorporate how you look, it also incorporates how you sound, what you say and the way you say it.

Let's take a look at three ways to power up your LEADER BRAND

1. How You Look

Your ability to create a style and authentic brand will stem from how well you can answer these questions.

What values govern the decisions I make every day

What are my super powers

Once you have answers to these questions you can start to create an external image that reflects the authentic you.

For example, let’s say one of your super powers is your high attention to detail. The easiest and most effective way to portray this is to create a look that is aligned from head to toe. It’s all in the detail. This also creates trust in your ability to follow through.

Creating visual presence and confidence is the first step to developing a distinctive style that represents exactly who you are, how you influence others and how you show up to the world.

While you want to "Lean Into" your career you certainly don't want to "Blend Into" the sea of sameness.

Your style will get you noticed but it's your signature that makes you unique, Janette Ishiyama
Once you've created a visual signature there's no point keeping it to yourself. A significant component to creating a visual signature is that you need to share it with others. How visible are you to colleagues, stakeholders, customers and clients?

2. How You Sound

Are you voicing your personal brand?

Your tone of voice can boost or bruise your personal brand. The sound of your voice has a significant impact on how others view you. Be mindful of:

  • Enunciation: Are you clear when you speak?
  • Pace: Do you talk slow or fast?
  • Pitch: Is your pitch very high or very low? 

How you sound also applies to written communication. Consider your digital footprint. Your personal and professional visibility both online and off-line is a major differentiator and has a direct impact on how people perceive you as a leader in your industry. Remember to communicate the problems you solve, the difference you make and the value you add.

3. What you say and how you say it

Do you have a compelling answer to the question “What do you do?” Being able to identify your truth and communicate what is important to you, will influence the way people think, feel and say when your name comes up.

Your body language also shapes who you are and affects the way people make judgements, and these judgements can have very meaningful, outcomes in life – like who is hired and promoted.

The degree to which you are being true to your personal brand affects your ability to command authority, and greatly influence others.

If you'd like to learn more about how to power up your LEADER BRAND to increase your impact, influence and income, click here and join me and other ambitious women who want to take charge of their career by leveraging their leader brand for career success.

Styling Your Success

P.S I'm hosting a FREE Masterclass on Tuesday the 29th of August at 12 noon AEST. It's called "3 Steps To Leverage Your Leader Brand And Increase Your Impact, Influence & Income. Click here to register. In the spirit of generosity, I'll have a FAB surprise to share at the end of this masterclassI don't want to give it away but I promise it will be really worthwhile!


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