Knowing how to command attention.
Have you ever felt executive presence? Try and remember a successful meeting. Chances are the meeting was led by someone who engaged everyone around the table. Someone who knows exactly what to say and when to say it. Their charisma and confidence are palpable. They know how to command attention and leave everyone craving for more. A person who has the “it” factor.
Defining Executive Presence
The “it” factor that so many leaders wish to emulate is called executive presence. Most of us assume that people are naturally born with these leadership qualities. The truth is that executive presence is an acquired skill – something people have put in a lot of conscious effort to attain.
Executive presence is an art, just like theatre or dance. It’s about finding out what works for you and makes you connect with people in a boardroom. There are many ways to communicate that, whether it’s through verbal skills, body language or dressing the part.
3 Practical Tips To Develop Executive Presence
#1 Preparation is Key
A person with great executive presence is never vague about the objectives of a meeting. She stays on track and puts across her points calmly and precisely.
Mind you; this doesn’t happen by magic. Behind the doors, you’ll find that this person has taken the time to point-by-point prepare what to say in the meeting. Hence, he or she never needs a reason to digress from the primary objectives. People, on the other hand, view this as their natural ability to command respect, when in fact, it’s a result of calculated preparedness.
#2 Use Body Language
If you want people to listen to you and respect you, you’ve got to stand tall. By that, I mean, you have to claim your space in the room. No one wants to listen to someone who is hunched over at the back of a room, whispering an opinion.
Powerful leaders speak clearly. They also make direct eye contact with everyone in the room. They take their time to explain themselves and pause at the right moments. In short, their whole persona, from the way they dress to the way they speak and stand, portrays confidence and strength.
#3 Make Others Feel Heard
Powerful communication is not only about saying the right things. It is also about engaging with people in the room and making them feel like their opinions matter. So the next time you’re leading a meeting, pay attention and listen carefully.
Imagine yourself as an orchestra conductor, who is seamlessly creating the perfect harmony. Only this time, it’s in the boardroom, and you’re able to get people on the same page on their own will. This way you’re not only an effective communicator but also a great leader.
As a Certified World Class Speaking and Storytelling Coach, I help my business clients mine, refine and deliver captivating stories for their business or brand. Whether it is the boardroom, platform, podium or stage, I help craft powerful presentations with compelling stories that are hard to forget. Read my story here.
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