"I'll only take a few minutes of your time."
That opening line made me wonder why I had scheduled more than a few minutes of my time to listen to the speaker.
What is it with the apologetic nature of so many skilled people once they stand up in front of a group to speak? When you invite someone to your home do they arrive saying, "I''ll only take a few minutes of your time."?
I've worked with literally hundreds of managers on their meetings and presentations over the years. Nothing makes me wince more than seeing someone who is confident in his material stand up and use words that undercut the power of the message.
"I just want to . . ." "Just"? (Oh, it isn't really all that important).
"I know how busy everyone is. . ." (Right. But we put you on the agenda. Start talking).
"Thank you for taking your time. . ." (You're welcome. You just took up even more of my time with that wimpy intro).
Whether you are standing up or seated at a conference table, people want you to lead with confidence. Not arrogance, but confidence. When you do something to apologize for your presence you diminish your presence.
Language is one of your most powerful leadership tools. People all around you are looking for leadership.
Check out your leadership language today.