Who has a presence you admire? What words would you use to describe that person? Is it how they communicate, how they give engaging presentations, or how they hold meaningful conversations? They may bring a spark the moment they enter the room. They may have a profound self-awareness, naturally knowing how to take control in most situations, being rarely intimidated. Typically they are well dressed and groomed, exhibiting a professional presence at all times.
What I’ve just described is executive presence! It’s a dynamic mix of gravitas (how you act), communication(how you speak), and appearance (how you look).
According to Sylvia Ann Hewlett, founder and CEO of the Center for Talent Innovation, and an economist with 20 years of experience in global talent management, “No man or woman attains a top job, lands an extraordinary deal, or develops a significant following without this heady combination of confidence, poise, and authenticity that convinces the rest of us that we’re in the presence of someone who’s going places.” Recent surveys conducted by the Center for Talent Innovation found that 268 executives said that executive presence counts for 26% of what it takes to get promoted. 60% surveyed said that poor communication negatively impacts others perception of you. Lastly, 75% say that making mistakes in appearance diminishes men and women’s executive presence.
So how do you start mastering your professional presence?
- Observe and emulate
- Ask for specific feedback
- “Invoke your vertical” in times of crisis and chaos
- Fake it until you make it
- Increase your visibility
- Be “several questions deep”
- Expect and embrace imperfections
- Smile more often than not
- Less is more
- Invest in attire that fits your body and business environment
- Above all, do not distract
That’s My Voice-What’s Yours?
Let me hear your wisdom and I’ll send you a free article I wrote for SW Spirit Magazine.
“Do it right in the presence you exude. Do it right in how you communicate. Do it right in how you demonstrate a strong personal brand. Do it right in how you look, act, walk, talk and ARE from the inside out. Valerie’s tips will build your self-confidence knowing you can Do It Right.”
“Business leaders refer to communications, teamwork, and etiquette as “the soft skills.” They are not the soft skills if they can get you fired. They are the foundation of business relationships, and nothing happens in business until there is a relationship. This book fills an important gap in the education of new and seasoned professionals.”
~Tom Trotter-IBM Executive & Community Leader
“Monday Morning Leadership for Women is a treasure of timely insights and action plans that can advance any woman. It’s terrific!”
~ Candace O’Keefe -Executive Director, Leadership America, Inc.