When you address a roomful of VIPs, watch your nerves. Don’t fight the jitters by trying too hard. That can cause you to butter up bigwigs insincerely and praise them repeatedly.
Powerful figures can usually tell when someone is currying favor with them. Stick to substance and you’re safe.
To communicate with high-level people, focus on principle over personality. Present cogent arguments built around logical analysis.
Head honchos tend to appreciate speakers who are businesslike and knowledgeable. But they frown on presenters who waste time engaging in personal asides or telling jokes that detract from the issues at hand.
It helps to speak in an authentic tone. If you adopt a deeper voice or drain the expressiveness from your face in an effort to look ultraserious, you risk looking phony or uncomfortable. Imagine that you’re conversing with an intelligent friend and you’ll come across as genuine yet smart.