Guest Post on 3 Tips to Increase Your Personal Presence

by Dr. Rick Kirschner on October 12, 2011

Today, it’s my pleasure to share with you the first of four guest posts by my friend and colleague Dianna Booher, whose new book, Creating Personal Presence, I highly recommend.


Social media has been called the world’s biggest cocktail party. So let’s stay with that metaphor for a moment. Unless you’re attending solely for the purpose of pushing products and services on unsuspecting peers (not recommended), you walk in with the intention of fitting in. You expect to see people you already know and strengthen your relationship with them. You hope to meet new people who will enrich your life in the future. Where these people are concerned, you can offer help in the form of introductions to others, answers to questions, and ideas and information in your area of expertise.

When you walk into the typical cocktail party, you don’t expect a formally planned evening, with everyone being given 10 minutes on stage to introduce himself and present a question for the group to give input on, or with a panel of experts to present information, with Q&A to follow. Instead, the conversation flows freely among ever-changing mix-and-match groups.

That’s where the cocktail party metaphor breaks down. Typically, it’s taboo to bring up heavy business topics during a cocktail party. The party represents a time to get to know others socially—personality, family, hobbies, and interests apart from work. So LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and blogs resemble a cocktail party—but also a formal networking event and an advisory group rolled into one platform. That is, “attendees” to the party formally introduce themselves beforehand by way of written profiles and tell you their interests in connecting.

That difference makes all the difference in how you present yourself and think about connecting online.

Think Value

The Twitter stream has trash, LinkedIn has spammers, and Facebook can become frivolous. So if you want to stand out from the crowd, communicate something of value. “It’s a bad hair day” lacks inspiration. “Waiting in line at the airport” doesn’t contribute to people’s lives. “Life is what you make it” doesn’t provoke deep thought. Consider contributing to the stream of communication with value statements and provocative questions, not polluting it.

Identify What Expertise You Can Contribute to the Conversation

Don’t be shy about sharing. What would you give an opinion about at a networking event with your colleagues and clients? They’re listening online. For starters, provide helpful tips in your areas of expertise. For example, I tweet communication tips—and that’s a fairly broad umbrella: business or technical writing, presentation skills, interpersonal skills, personal presence, running effective meetings, listening, organizational communication, resolving conflict, persuasion. You get the idea. Your expertise might be anything from kayaking, to coyotes, to cooking.

Other ideas for valuable comments: Your recommendations for travel, books, movies, speakers, learning products or events; your opinions or provocative questions on current events or trends and how they affect our lives; insights from some self-development program you’ve participated in; new research (polls, surveys, test data); predictions about your industry, social changes, or moods in the country or your workplace.


Dianna Booher, an expert in executive communications, is the author of 45 books, published in 24 countries and 17 languages.   Her latest books include Creating Personal Presence: Look, Talk, Think, and Act Like a Leader  and  Communicate with Confidence, Revised Edition.

Thanks to Dianna for a great post.  Now, reader, it’s your turn.  Your comments are welcome below!

Thank you to Dianna for a great post!

Now, dear reader, it’s your turn.  Your comments and feedback are welcome here.   Be well,


Previous post:

Next post: