There are lots of articles out there telling you how to be better at just about everything. Books that promise you the easy 10 steps to success in any endeavour. Gurus and experts who will share their secrets...
(Ok - I know - this is a blog filled with advice on how to be 'better'... I'm not exempt; I just hope I'm a little different! LOL)
Recently, I've been reading articles on how to be taken more seriously. Collectively, the advice has been to speak up/listen more; speak evenly/have passion; take up space/be contained; work towards consensus/take no prisoners... You get the idea.
The only thing I believe you can do wrong when trying to have your ideas heard is (drum roll) to lack confidence.
If it's your style to be soft-spoken and kind - then by all means, do so. If you use humour and wear bright colours - go ahead! etc. etc. etc. Yes, sometimes you have to shift about to get your audience to come along with you - but never at the expense of who you are and how, ultimately, you express yourself. If you're a leopard, mute a few spots but don't change them all!
People buy you as much as they buy the idea you're offering. It's ultimately not about following the right 'rules' of how to present yourself. It's about being confident, capable and consistently you.
Which reminds me, I think the next streak in my hair should be purple...