How To Develop Executive Presence in 14 Steps

How to develop an executive presence
  1. Take advantage of a modern LMS.
  2. Define your leadership style.
  3. Set realistic and attainable goals.
  4. Enroll in a mentorship program.
  5. Join a professional development group.
  6. Practice your communication skills.
  7. Record yourself to find improvements.
  8. Hire an executive coach.

“She told me, ‘Allison, you can’t cry at the workplace. Do you know why? Because you’re a woman, you’re young, attractive, and perceived as unreliable by those who need your services. Nobody wants to hear that you’re having a bad day, so if someone asks, just say you’re having a great day. ’”.

“I became the person who was unflappable,” she says. My work producing live remotes, being on air, and in the control room began to feel genuine. I still have a lot of emotional sensitivity, and I still cry, but in order to be the leader I wanted to be, I had to behave in that way. ”.

Kluger, the Dorothy J. King spent more than 25 years in broadcast media and entertainment before becoming a King Lecturer in Leadership at Stanford Graduate School of Business. He specializes in strategic communication, reputation management, and personal branding. She worked as an executive producer at the Global Shopping Network and hosted and produced shows for Q2, a QVC-affiliated channel. She served as the show’s original coordinating producer for ABC’s The View, offered advice to Al Gore and Joel Hyatt when Current TV first debuted, and assisted MSNBC in developing a live pilot program for Michael Savage. She also founded her own consultancy in 2005.

Executive Presence | Sylvia Ann Hewlett | Talks at Google

How to develop an executive presence in 14 steps

Regardless of your position, title, or career path, you can develop an executive presence. The following 14 steps can help you develop or polish your executive presence:

1. Define your personal executive presence

You can become the kind of leader you want to be by being aware of it. Identify your work style, leadership style, and career objectives, then develop an action plan to put them into practice. Set attainable and reasonable deadlines, milestones, and goals. Executive presence takes time to develop, just like any other skill.

2. Have a positive mindset

Instead of concentrating on abilities you may not yet have acquired, have confidence in yourself and your abilities. Maintaining motivation and concentration while working on developing executive presence requires having a positive outlook. Additionally, keep in mind that having executive presence doesn’t require you to be an expert at everything because part of leadership is knowing when and where to delegate tasks or connect with people who have specific expertise.

3. Redirect your focus

Whether in lengthy meetings, conference calls, one-on-one conversations, or even when reading and responding to emails, be considerate and pay attention with intent. Instead of viewing every interaction as a task or a transaction to be completed, think of it as an opportunity to connect. It can enhance both your executive presence and your reputation as a personable, trustworthy, and sincere leader.

4. Be aware of your breathing

Use your breathing to calm down, release stress, and increase your ability to concentrate. For instance, taking a few deep breaths and then exhaling before speaking with someone on the phone about a nerve-wracking subject can help you relax and calm your nerves. No matter the size of the audience, this straightforward technique can help you unwind, plan ahead, and choose the appropriate pace for speaking.

5. Consider your habits and background

Make time for introspection and be frank about your advantages and weaknesses. Sometimes our habits and personality traits—like shyness, body language, or voice volume, for example—can be influenced by experiences or upbringing. Think about having honest conversations with people who know you well to identify your areas for growth and to get inspiration for investigating exercises and activities to break or create new habits as you develop executive presence.

6. Ask for support

Inform a friend, mentor, or colleague that you are working to improve your executive presence and ask for their assistance. People frequently want to assist, and you can let them know how to do so by offering feedback, serving as a practice partner, or just being a source of encouragement.

Support from those you admire and trust can help you maintain your momentum and reinforce your positive actions. It may also result in more chances for you to develop your executive presence, such as being given the chance to speak in front of a larger group of people, take charge of a project, or make connections with other businesspeople or executives through your network.

7. Practice your speaking skills

Consider practicing your speaking skills whenever you can. Try speaking out loud and experimenting with your voice’s pace, tone, and sound while performing routine tasks like taking a shower or driving to work. Speaking out loud provides you with more exercise and practice than simply going over your thoughts in your head because of the repetition that helps you form a habit.

8. Record yourself

Consider filming yourself giving a speech, a presentation, or running a meeting, then watching it back to make notes on your presence, breathing, and voice control. You can learn a lot about your appearance and voice, and you can monitor your development of executive presence by recording yourself multiple times.

9. Observe others

Watch how others behave and how they walk, talk, dress, especially other leaders you look up to. They may be executives at your company, leaders in related fields, or well-known figures in business. Look for nonverbal and visual cues that they use to communicate, and pay attention to how they use their voice, including volume, breathing, speed, and the use of silence or pauses. Effective observation and study can impart best practices from accomplished individuals who exhibit executive presence and provide encouragement as you cultivate your own.

10. Learn from those you hold in high regard

Even though you can learn a lot by observing, think about getting in touch with someone you look up to, whether they are a public figure or an industry mentor. Obtain information about the authors’ experiences in creating executive presence by reading the leadership books they have written. By concentrating on efficient techniques rather than learning through trial and error, you can save time.

11. Use body language

Pay attention to the signals your body sends through your body language, and learn how to use it well. Effective body language can support verbal instructions and messages, project confidence and authority, and inspire or reassure others.

For example, try to:

Hand gestures are an important part of body language. Open-handed gestures exude a sense of welcome; palms down can be used to point out something or direct others; and open fingers while rotating your wrist can entice people to your point of view, for instance.

12. Invest in learning tools

Consider taking leadership courses or reading books on the subject. You can research leadership development conferences, seminars, newsletters, and books to help you develop a stronger executive presence. There are also numerous online resources and tools available. They can serve as useful strategies for enhancing existing behaviors and traits or learning new ones.

13. Join a group

There are associations, clubs, and groups that specialize in honing this skill set, which often includes having a strong vocabulary and being well spoken. Think about looking into and joining a professional development organization, such as Toastmasters International. Their organizations foster leadership, communication, and public speaking; there are even speech contests and competitions. These kinds of groups can assist you in honing your public speaking, eye contact, and pause technique. Putting these abilities into practice in a setting other than the workplace can also eliminate distractions and lower any inhibitions.

14. Get a coach

In order to help you develop the leadership skills that will increase your executive presence, an executive coach frequently provides consulting, training, exercises, and personal development. They can assist you in setting goals, enhancing your body language and verbal interactions, and advancing or changing your career. Even though executive and professional coaching can be more expensive than self-study options, it is still a worthwhile investment to investigate.

What is executive presence?

A learned set of behaviors and character traits called executive presence enable you to command respect and authority. It can have an impact on you, your team, and the organization you work for because it gives the impression that you can lead in any circumstance. While some people have executive presence naturally, it is a quality you can develop, grow, or strengthen. Executive presence is often centered on how one acts, speaks, and looks.

Because it demonstrates to others that you are a skilled professional capable of leading others and making significant contributions to a company, business, or organization, developing executive presence is crucial. No matter your position, role, or career path, it can also increase your confidence and professional value.

Tips for developing executive presence

Use the following advice in addition to the steps above to improve executive presence:

Please note that Indeed is not affiliated with any of the businesses mentioned in this article.


What does it mean to have executive presence?

Definition of Executive Presence Executive presence can be defined as the capacity to act decisively and dignifiedly while exhibiting the core characteristics of leadership. People with executive presence function well under pressure, speak clearly, and project an air of competence and assurance.

What are the seven key steps in building your executive presence?

The kind of presence someone creates as they enter a room, take their seat at the table and begin to communicate effectively with those around them.

Here is how they do it:
  1. POSTURE. …
  4. SMILE. …

How do you speak with executive presence?

According to Ullmen, the 10 principles you should follow to communicate with presence are:
  1. Speak decisively.
  2. Back it up.
  3. Respond when challenged.
  4. Admit mistakes with strength.
  5. Stay on course.
  6. Keep it simple.
  7. Be concise.
  8. Engage others with kudos and questions.

What are the attributes of executive presence?

Confidence is one of the most crucial components of executive presence. You must project confidence in both your appearance and your manner of speaking, as well as in what you say and how you say it. Be erect, make eye contact, and pay attention to each person separately. Be aware of your tone and the way you speak.

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