“Getting to the top is as much to do with how you look as what you achieve.”

So says this week’s Economist. It is backed with an array of striking facts about the most successful CEOs being taller, fitter and deeper voiced. It is a great read so have a look here for the full article.

This chimes with a question we often ask at our Communicating Brilliantly Under Presssure: “When we first meet someone what do we judge that person on? In order of importance, is it how they look, how they sound or on what they actually say?”

We invariably decide that it should be what they say but in truth it is usually how they look first followed by how they sound second.

So let’s put all our efforts in making ourselves look fantastic and save time on thinking about what we are actually going to say?

Well some people undoubtedly do this and a number get away with it for a long time. No-one wants to be thought of as a style over substance person. But secondly, and perhaps more importantly, nobody wants to be overtaken in their career by this person.

So what does this mean for us? The image we use is a series of hurdles. The first hurdle to get over is to look confident and gain the initial trust of your audience. The second is to sound like you mean what you are saying. The third part is for you to show how brilliant you are.

At MSB we help you overcome the first two so that the audience sees the third.