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Mastering Executive Presence: Embracing The Assumptive "I"

Present with Authenticity when Public Speaking


Public speaking can be both exhilarating and nerve-wracking. Over the years, I witnessed many speakers share their stories and achievements openly, but it's always been a bit tricky for me. When meeting a new audience, it’s necessary to establish credibility, but how do we do that without that awkward feeling of bragging?


I shared my distress with a skilled presentation coach (who happens to be my sister). She invited me to one of her workshops on the “Power of the Assumptive I,” and here’s what I learned:

The “Assumptive I" works best when using inclusive language. Phrases like “You might relate to this scenario…" or “Do you remember a time when…” which allows the audience to envision their own stories, replacing you, the speaker, from the center of the story.

The workshop focused on three main areas:

1. An Authentic Message:

Concentrate on an authentic message or lessons you want to share rather than your personal involvement. This connects your experiences to broader themes, societal issues, or shared human experiences, allowing you to discuss your experiences without using “I.”

2. Events and Experiences:

Focus on describing the events and people involved rather than your own role. This technique allows you to be relatable without overtly focusing on "I."

3. The Audience:

Establish a connection with your audience by showing a genuine interest in your shared experiences. It’s important to remember that it’s how the audience interacts with your content that makes it significant.

Audiences want to learn from you. When you share your message and experiences with them, it’s not boasting. Rather, it’s revealing a way for them to learn for themselves.

I couldn't be more grateful for my sister’s incredible talents and loving advice.

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Revel Coach & Revel Search Co-Founder Marcy Stoudt is passionate about developing leaders, bringing teams together, and creating a work environment where people thrive. For over 25 years, she has worked with hundreds of executives and coached, taught, and inspired results through confidence and balance.




The Revel Coach™ Blog is provided for educational and informational purposes only and is not mental health, financial, business or legal advice. The information presented here is not intended to diagnose, treat, heal, cure or prevent any medical, mental or emotional condition. The information presented here is not a guarantee that you will obtain any results or earn any money using our content.

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