Words to use – Words to drop

Leaders speak differently. In order to enhance their Executive Presence and and also their ‘Gravitas’, how they say things and what they say as as important.

To stand out in a crowd of achievers, you have to carve a niche’ for yourself. Any observable change, is the best indicator that you are changing, or making the effort.

I cam across this list on pintrest, that is a good start of anyone to make. I normally encourage my clients to customize their own lists, based on their needs. The image below provides substitutes for words one can use of using the oft repeated ‘very’.

More in this series of words and speech will follow in the weeks to come. Look out for the tag #wordstouse.


I have been working with clients that have sought help on making their ‘High Stake Presentation’ better, more effective and ‘spot on’, for a while now

When they reached out to me, they said things like, “Too Many Slides”, “Too much to say, of with much of it not relevant”, “Beating around the bush”, “Not sure what they wanted to say”. And while this sound all to familiar, and almost like anyone making presentations without a plan, the BIG difference was, the people on the other side. These were Board members, Executive Committee members….high stake holders. And they all had one thing in common – they had limited time.

So the ask was for a ‘how to’ on

  1. Making presentations more crisp.
  2. Dealing with data and not emotions.
  3. Being ‘to the point’, and most of all…
  4. Making recommendations, and not giving long stories of ‘what got us here’.

And so while working on helping them address and overcome this challenge, I created the ‘R A O B’ model, of making ‘recommendation based’ presentations.

I’ll keep this short.

The diagram below shows the model, and speaks of

  •  making recommendations,
  • that need to be backed by action (read my power tool – Action V/s Inaction),
  • which will have outcomes,
  • and will lead to benefits.

The R O A B Model - ©JRN 2017

Using this model, the presentations were now more aligned to what the high stake holders were looking for. And were more fulfilling for the presenters, because they were able to shift paradigms, from ‘traditional presenting’ to ‘recommendation based presenting’.

If you are keen to know more, or want us to conduct a workshop for members of your organization on the R A O B Model ©Justin Rayne Nash, write to info@soulstarcoach.com.

If you use this model and/or the approach in your presentations, write in to get written permission, and please credit us.

– soulSTARcoach


Executive Coaching, Executive Presence, High Stake presentations, Presentation Skills

The R A O B Model

There is a difference between, making an effective and impactful presenttion vis-a-vis, making high stake presentations. This article & model, help take the right approach, and get you a step closer to getting what you want in the end

Coaching Executives, Executive Coaching, Maximizing your Coaching session

10 Ways to get the Most From Your Coach

This Article was published  in the Huffington Post on 26th of August 2015 and is authored by Michelle Hext.


10 Ways to get the Most From Your Business Coach

One of the smartest business decisions you can make is hiring a coach to support you in your endeavor to build an empire.

I’m honestly blown away whenever I speak to a business woman who’s in the struggle and discover she’s never had a coach. I can’t help but think, “WOW, boy you’ve just done things the hard (and usually long) way!”

I’m a coach and I’ve also been coached many, many times over the past 15 years so I know a thing or two about the subject.

We (coaches) can see around the corners you can’t see around just yet, we keep your bigger vision in mind while you struggle with the detail and point you back on course when you try to take a different path when the going gets tough, but in my opinion the best coaches are the ones who help you grow into a bigger, badder, better version of your already awesome self.

An even better coach will expand your thinking in ways that will blow your mind and hold your hand while you adjust to this new found level.

While a great coach is super important, knowing how best to use your coach is even more important! I dread to think of the money I wasted on coaching simply because I didn’t know how to best use my coach.

So if you think you’re coach is awesome but aren’t really moving forward, maybe it’s because you’re not utilizing your coach effectively.

Coaches are human and while we pride ourselves on our ability to get our clients from A to B using whatever tactics we need to employ to do that, what we are not — is mind readers.

I’ve had clients tell me during a coaching call that they’ve spent three days in tears because of X, Y or Z.

I tell them, “um, this is when you’re supposed to reach out, remember?”

We love nothing more than to give, give, give to you, our fabulous clients.

We love nothing more than to be of the highest service to you and we want you to succeed as much as you do (and sometimes more).

But we can’t do that if we’re not across what’s going on for you. If you’re struggling we want to know.

Anyhooo, I’ve put together some things to consider that will help you to use your coach more effectively so you and your coach are both happier campers.


You’re paying big bucks for your coaching so don’t waste your valuable coaching time asking questions you can easily find the answers to with a half decent google search.


Constantly asking your coach to veto any post you want to put up on Facebook or email blast sent is not a good use of your coach.

Your coach is not your target market so it’s best to test your material on your market to get the sort of feedback you need.

Your coach will no doubt be happy to look this stuff over but it will be much more useful to you if you have already had feedback from the people who will be buying your product.


Think of your coach as a high performance sports car — when you take a Ferrari out for a spin you make it count, you go a little faster around the corners because you know the car can handle it, you take it places you don’t usually go, you get yourself in and out of trouble and you respect the performance.

Driving the Ferrari expanded you in some way and left you wanting more.

This is a high-performance coaching conversation.

When you drive your Hyundai, it’s meh. You get from A to B but nothing too exciting happens along the way. This is a ho-hum filler conversation that you could have with your sister that is fun, warm and often fuzzy but really serves no higher purpose than to keep you moving. This is not a high-performance coaching conversation.

Whenever you meet with your coach try to remind yourself that you’re taking the sports car out for a spin and you want to push things to their limits.


If you’re technologically challenged or don’t know the first thing about setting up an automated email sequence or how to build a sales page and it’s holding you back, hire someone to do this stuff for you.

If you’re working with a coach and your coach is pushing you forwards at a great rate of knots but you’re dragging your heels and things are not being completed because you’re not tech savvy, do yourself a favor and get help so you can keep the pace and remain focused on the things that will drive you forward and reap a larger financial reward for effort.


Ok, I’m not saying I’m Steve Jobs but I adopted this thinking (stay with me) when I was working with a great coach.

I can write about all of the “do nots” because I practiced them all.

I look back and cringe at some of the stuff I asked my coach, now I can see I was wasting both his and my time. “Is this font ok on my flyer?” “Should I run my event in March or August?” etc etc Ask yourself “is this a high-level question?”

Would you go to Steve Jobs with this question? If not, then work out where else you can get that feedback or information from and use your coach for higher-level questions.


Coaches come across a lot of clients who want saving.

They SAY they want bigger, better things but what they really want is for the coach to create bigger, better things for them!

It’s important for you to know that you have to roll up your sleeves and do the work.

Sometimes it’s uncomfortable.

Sometimes it downright sucks.

But if you know the actions being asked of you will drive you forward, do the work, that’s why you’re paying your coach the big bucks.

You’re paying for your coach to stretch you and to support you while YOU do the work.


If you’re sitting in your coaches office (or in front of your pooter skyping) watching the time to make sure you’re getting your full hours worth you’re totally missing the point.

I’ve had clients have a breakthrough in a 15-minute conversation and they are so excited to jump off the call to get started on their tasks they’re gone at the speed of light.

Your session is about outcome, not time.


Always come to your coaching sessions prepared.

This coaching program is your bus, you have the wheel and you’re the one driving it.

Know what you need from the coaching session (even if it’s just to get clear) so your coach can coach you more effectively in the session by knowing exactly what you need to focus on.

coachingquote-tom-landry sSc BLOG


Your coach is less than half of the equation really.

You bring your ideas and (sometimes) your vision and you’re the one doing the work.

Your coach observes, offers feedback, keeps you focused and holds you accountable.

If you don’t do your part your coach can’t do theirs.


My favorite clients are the ones who do the work.

The ones who fight for their success and do so without the drama.

They trust in the process and keep planting one foot in front of the other even when the going get’s tough.

They ask for help when they need it, but only when they need it.

They know their coach is there supporting them and cheering them on, but know their coach is not their crutch.

If you’ve never had a coach before trust me, you’re doing things much tougher than you need to.

Many coaches offer a free discovery session so I highly recommend booking some discovery sessions and trying on coaching for size to see if it’s the right thing for you.

Michelle xox

Follow Michelle Hext on Twitter: www.twitter.com/KAElegantly

coaching-quote3 sSc Blog

Coaching Executives, Executive Presence, Leadership Development

The Emergence of Coaching in an Executive’s Life

To borrow from an article that appeared in the Huffington Post in the first few days of December 2013 :

A recent study by the Stanford Business School found that nearly two-thirds of CEO’s don’t receive coaching or leadership development. And almost half of senior executives in general aren’t receiving any, either. Paradoxically, nearly 100 percent said that they would like coaching to enhance their development, as both Bloomberg BusinessWeek and Forbes reported in recent articles

Picture Credit : http://www.thinkstockphotos.in

Let me be upfront when I say this – you really have to know what a good coach can do for you, your life and your career.

Many organizations dismiss coaching and write it off as ‘an unnecessary large expense’. They have organically created coaching and mentoring systems within, to help their people learn to excel. But the BIG question remains – Who coaches the coaches?

The inherent need for any executive is to graduate towards Excellence. Excellence in their thought, in their action, in their strategic thinking, in their people leading skills and excellence amongst their peers.

One challenge that all of us have in our journey upwards, is that we get disconnected from the basics. And that has a large impact on how we emerge as leaders.

Empathy, appreciation, assertiveness and other core attributes and skills are lost in our effort to excel in our knowledge and industry domains.

But as leaders, it’s these skills that will also set us apart.

Begin disconnected from the basics also means that we’ve lost touch with our own selves and have low self-awareness. An aspect that is so critical in today’s tera-speed world, that it often leaves us reeling when we really need it.

Picture Credit : http://www.thinkstockphotos.in

So why haven’t organizations woken up to this requirement?

We’ll the trick often lies in what they think they get from it vis-a-vis what it actually is and does for them.

My experience with executives the world over is, that while many of them even want to acknowledge the need, they dismiss it themselves, because of a lack of understanding what coaching really is.

And those who are brave enough to engage in the process, more often than not, come out on the other side, totally and pleasantly surprised on what they thought the process would be like, and what it actually was and did for them.

But it’s also true, that a coach will not have the answers (but they will definitely have the questions), and it’s not always that a coach and a client are a perfect fit.

Sometimes the word ‘uncoachable’ emerges. But this only means that the search for the right coach that fits your requirement, goes on.

Picture Credit : http://www.thinkstockphotos.in

But being coached requires your to have a great amount of ownership and accountability. and add to that integrity and honesty, and you have your self asking ‘…..then why do I need a coach – I can do it myself !’

At the risk of sounding repetitive – you really have to know what a good coach can do for you, your life and your career.

Coaching in now a regulated profession, which means, you need to be certified and accredited by a regulatory body, you need to abide to a code of ethics, and you need to pack in a required numbers of hour of practiced coaching (just like a doctor, a pilot or any other professional).

With Professionals Coaches now present the world over (in growing numbers), it already time for Executives around the world, to tap into this outstanding resource, in their journey towards Excellence.

Coach Justin Rayne Nash PCC, CPC

(The Author is An ICF Certified Global Executive and Life Coach)

Pictures Credit : http://www.thinkstockphotos.in
Coaching Executives, Executive Presence

Developing Executive Presence

Executive Presence….

Is it a buzz word….a fad?

Is it here to stay…?

Is it new….?

Well, to answer the last one first.. right thru history, there have been leaders that have stood out, by sheer ‘presence’, for lack of another word. Many of these are not remembered today, but in their time, they were noticed, listened to and they had great influence on people they came in contact with, or on people who knew them.

So then why the buzz around ‘Developing Executive Presence’ today?

Let’s just jump into the arena of the music industry for a moment …..

Elvis Presley – The King Of Rock n Roll!

The Beatles – The Fab 4 that shook the world!

They created music records that are remembered to this day!

Then came Michael Jackson. And he broke some of those long standing records, and created new one’s.

Then came Britney Spears, and she put to rest those records.

And now Kate Perry. Well.. she’s pretty much re-written the meaning of ‘records’.

So what is the point, you ask?

Let’s understand one thing. Keeping musical talent aside, the audience that each singer (and generation) entertained, grew. Manifold!

Which means that for every record that Elvis sold, Britney sold a 100 (or more). so little wonder that the records came crumbling down. Musical talent aside.

Add to that, the marketing reach, media impact and muscle, budgets, AND the INTERNET, Britney (and Kate) reached out to Millions and Millions more than Elvis even had at his disposal. (Do you know how many followers Kate Perry has on Twitter?! – She even holds THAT record!)

Now switching gears again (and the above begin true to any industry) …When the IT, BPO, and Consulting industries started, like everyone else, they were either startups, newbies or in a new industry.

They hired a few –  the best in their domain, got business, and serviced it, created a loyal customer base, and then… GREW exponentially.

Hiring got out of control, and there were drives to acquire the best, most talented ones.

In the mean time, the early one’s had now grown in their careers, roles, and ambition.

But ambition is not enough, is it?

Now they had to move out of the ‘individual performer’ to a ‘people manager’ role. A different set of skills, lots of learning, and new expectations to match up to.

And expectations from so many sides – from their leaders, their clients and their teams.

In all this, the need for developing themselves started making it’s presence felt.

But they already had domain expertise under their belt. Already acknowledged for their mastery in that domain, the need now was to be able to influence their audience, for them to believe in their Leadership, to buy better solutions, to gain solid commitment from team members and customers alike.

And so ‘Developing Executive Presence’ became the watch word, and the need of the hour, and this is about 36 months ago, in the shores of the west. Today, it has spread as a requirement where ever there is business, people, and ambitious growth.

So what is Executive Presence?

Broadly defined Executive presence is a sum total of skills, and attributes that a leader must possess and/or develop and hone, so as to be able to influence better, build credibility and establish oneself as a distinctive yet effective leader.

Some facets of Executive Presence include :

  • How one is able to articulate thought.
  • Does one ‘naturally’ draw people to themselves.
  • How one handles public engagement.
  • One’s demeanor at work and off work.
  • The attention one pays to (personal and professional) grooming.
  • How one is able to influence

And there is so much more, but a witty, but often serious repartee that I’ve encountered is “If most of executive presence is linked to personality, then how can I change my personality at this stage in life, and hence develop my executive presence?”

And so we arrive at the BIG question – can Executive Presence be taught?

The answers lies within you. and only a deep desire to change, develop and make a difference, is know to have paid dividends.

(Written and published in December of 2013, appearing in the L.I.F.E eMagazine)

Coach Justin Rayne Nash PCC, CPC