Gravitas in short supply

The author of PR Today and University of Westminster's visiting professor of PR gives it to you straight.

Trevor Morris: gives it to you straight
Trevor Morris: gives it to you straight

How do I acquire gravitas? My local deli doesn’t seem to stock it.

If only you could buy gravitas from a shop. It is in fact rather a rare commodity. Strictly speaking gravitas is ‘a solemn and serious quality’. More generally when people describe someone as having gravitas they mean that they sound like they know what they are talking about.

So how do you get hold of some gravitas? There are three rules. Firstly, speak slowly with long, meaningful pauses bet­ween key points. Secondly, never walk quickly, flap your arms or laugh out loud. And thirdly, in meetings always lean back in your chair and form your fingers into a cathedral roof. Nobody will like you, but you will be seen as having gravitas and therefore be able to increase your hourly rate.

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