Executive presence is the leadership quality that will help you become the leader that others can’t help but notice. It helps you to inspire confidence in others and demonstrate your capability, reliability and potential as a leader.
It’s built on three pillars; how you act, how you look and how you speak and includes your attitude, confidence, non-verbal communication, emotional intelligence, public speaking skills, and even your personal brand.
When you improve your executive presence, you’ll be more likely to stand out from your peers and be offered the kinds of opportunities that you deserve. Working with an executive coach who is experienced in helping leaders boost their confidence and influence with executive presence characteristics will make a significant difference to your performance.
In the meantime, here are 6 tips that can help you get started.
1. Polish your speaking and presentation skills
If you want to improve or boost your executive presence and increase your confidence, you must work on improving your speaking skills. When you can speak with clarity, you will share your message more effectively, appear to be more confident and, perhaps most importantly, inspire your audience and connect with them on a deeper level.
It’s not only the words that you use that will have an impact, but how you deliver that message will determine the way in which it is received. Working on your leadership voice is part of developing your executive presence.
Leaders who speak too quickly or too slowly, use a monotonous voice, speak in a high pitch or don’t articulate the words clearly are likely to miss the mark. Own your voice, speak up and be heard.
2. Develop your confidence
Confidence is one of the most important ‘soft skills’ you’ll need to become an inspiring leader and develop executive presence. When you can demonstrate quiet confidence, and move with energy and intention, you will inspire a sense of trust and senior management will be more likely to sit up and notice you.
However, many of my coaching clients feel that their lack of confidence is permanent and they will never be able to work through it, but as I explain to them, this certainly isn’t the case. There are many tricks and techniques we can use to help you control your nervousness, cultivate confidence and stand out from your peers.
Learn to speak with confidence by attending my one day training course in Perth.
3. Use the power of non-verbal communication
Strong, positive body language is essential when it comes to building your credibility, connecting with your listeners and again, inspiring confidence. Here are some tips that can help you boost your skills:
- Prepare: know your message and practice speaking beforehand.
- Visualise: imagine yourself speaking with confidence and presence.
- Make eye contact: whether you’re speaking to just a few people or a larger audience, making eye contact will help you build your executive presence.
- Be present: remember that you’re there to deliver a message. It’s not about you.
- Stand confidently: keep your feet hip-distance apart and your feet firmly grounded. Relax your shoulders.
4. Create a positive first impression
Did you know that it takes people just a few seconds to decide a person’s characteristics when they meet them for the first time?
This includes traits like trustworthiness, competence, charisma and likeability that are critical for building business relationships and growing a successful career. When a person believes that you are professional, you’re more likely to be presented with new career opportunities and foster growth.
To maximise your impact, start by tweaking your appearance. Dress to impress. Be neatly groomed at all times and wear the correct style of clothing for your industry, culture and level of formality.
5. Showcase your personal brand
Effective personal branding can provide you with a winning advantage when it comes to your career, especially during these uncertain times. It’s practically impossible to succeed in the modern world unless you are maximising your impact in this way. Be proactive and ensure that you’re maximising the impact of yours. Consider the following:
- How are you showing up online and offline?
- Are you using social media to showcase your expertise?
- Do you have an up-to-date profile picture on LinkedIn?
- What does Google say about you?
- Are you grabbing public speaking opportunities to share your message?
- How effectively do you network?
- How do you dress?
Each of these factors will affect your personal brand and allow you to promote yourself and your expertise more effectively.
6. Build your self-awareness and Emotional Intelligence
Effective leaders are always aware of how emotions can influence the outcome of any relationship or negotiation. They are aware of their own emotions, how they can impact others and how they can effectively manage them for best effect. They also make the effort to notice other people’s emotions, demonstrate great empathy and can resolve conflicts effectively.
The great news is that emotional intelligence isn’t a skill that you need to be born with. You can improve your soft skills by tuning in to your emotions and noticing how to respond in stressful situations or when faced with conflict or change. Also, get feedback from others to understand how you are perceived by others and be willing to make any changes needed to help you develop your executive presence and grow your career.
Building your executive presence involves much more than becoming an effective leader. By improving your public speaking skills, growing your confidence, harnessing the power of non-verbal communication, creating a positive first impression, improving your personal brand and building your Emotional Intelligence, you can inspire confidence and trust so you can build your professional career.
I can help you master the art of executive presence and fulfil your potential. Contact me today to find out more.
About the author
Lisa Evans helps professionals to craft compelling business stories and become exceptional speakers. Lisa is a certified speaker coach, TEDx speaker coach, four times author, NLP practitioner, graphic recorder and visual storyteller, and improvisational actor.
She has coached thousands of leaders across a range of industries, including resources, banking, finance, engineering, retail and sales as well as not-for-profit and community associations.
If you wish to take advantage of a complimentary session in order to chat about how you can become an exceptional and successful speaker with a stand-out brand, then use this link to book a time to chat.
Here’s how I may help you
My services include:
Business Storytelling Coaching – together we can get started to create your suite of stories.
Executive Speaker Coaching – if you have an upcoming guest speaking opportunity, funding pitch, conference talk or you want to be an outstanding speaker, we can work together on your technique. You will see the results after one session.
Tailored Workshops – I can come to you, or we can host a workshop offsite for your team. From half-day to two-days immersive, this customised workshop is an ideal way to kick start your business storytelling strategy and get the whole team telling stories.
Keynote/Guest Speaking either in person or via virtual means at your next conference or event.