When the Message Matters
The Ammerman Experience is a communications skills development firm that does one thing and one thing only: we show people how to effectively and confidently reach and influence others through the spoken word.


As a leading communication skills development firm, The Ammerman Experience pioneered a wide range of interactive workshops and training sessions designed to show people how to face the media, manage crisis situations, speak at public meetings, and deliver effective sales, analyst, and other business related presentations. Through our quarterly newsletter, the Advisor, we share some of our expertise in these areas.

Warmth or Strength?

Published: Feb 18, 2014

Business man 1What do you project when you present yourself in the workplace? Research led by the Harvard Business School says that when people make judgments about us in a business setting, they look first at two characteristics: How likeable or trustworthy (warm) are we? And how competent (strong) are we? Most people try to emphasize their strength or competence on the job. But sociology and psychology research shows that people who project strength before establishing trust run the risk of generating fear and apprehension. In other words, warmth is judged before competence. Or put another way, before people decide what they think of your message, they decide what they think of you.


Some ways to project warmth:

▪ Speak with lower pitch/volume

▪ Validate feelings

▪ Smile, nod, open arms/hands


Some ways to project strength:

▪ Feel confident and in control

▪ Stand up straight

▪ Move with purpose and precision


For more information on this topic, see the July-August 2013 issue of the Harvard Business Review.

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