Female Executive Communication Skills Course Summary
In 2022, an international European law firm held a half-day seminar in Paris, designed for 35 female legal professionals. The subject was “Executive Presence for Women in Law,” and it aimed to equip the participants with the necessary skills to communicate effectively and assertively in the workplace. The seminar, which was taught by presentation skills expert Eric Molin, highlighted the following topics: overcoming impostor syndrome, alternatives to PowerPoint, using your voice and body language confidently, and managing nerves when speaking. While choosing a man as a trainer for female executive presence was not the usual choice, getting input from “the other side of the table” proved to be highly valuable.
The seminar began with a breakdown of impostor syndrome, a common phenomenon where people doubt their abilities and fear being exposed as frauds, even when this is clearly not the case. Impostor syndrome often happens to people (especially young people and women) in highly competitive environments (like law). To overcome this , Eric shared tips on building self-confidence, such as recognizing and memorializing key achievements and re-framing negative self-talk.
Next, Eric taught the group alternatives to PowerPoint, which is too-often used in the legal profession. He introduced participants to a variety of tools and techniques for creating more engaging and memorable presentations, including visual aids like using the flipchart and whiteboard and business storytelling techniques to help to connect with audiences on a deeper level.
We then moved on to the topic of using their voices and body language confidently, which is a critical component of executive presence. Eric explained that effective communication is not just about what you say but also how you say it, and that nonverbal cues like posture, facial expressions, and tone of voice have been scientifically proven to have a significant impact on how you are perceived by others. He shared practical exercises and techniques for improving voice projection and using body language to convey confidence and authority.
Finally, the seminar addressed the issue of managing nerves when speaking, which can be a significant barrier to effective communication, especially in high-pressure situations like meetings or presentations. Eric shared tips on how to prepare for public speaking, including practicing in front of a mirror or with friends, and techniques for managing nerves, such as yoga breathing and success visualization.
What were the key takeaways?
The participants left the seminar feeling empowered and motivated, with a set of practical tools and techniques that they could immediately apply in their day-to-day work.
The importance of executive presence for women in law cannot be overstated. In a highly competitive and male-dominated field, women often face unique challenges in communicating effectively and being taken seriously. By developing executive presence, female legal professionals can face these challenges and achieve greater success in their careers.
Eric provided the participants with valuable insights and practical tools. Tools to help them overcome impostor syndrome, create engaging presentations, use their voice and body language confidently, and manage nerves when speaking. A seminar like this is a tangible step in helping women in the legal profession and equipping them with the skills they need.