What Is Executive Presence?
Often our clients refer someone to us for Executive Coaching with a glowing description such as "This is one of our most valued and brilliant employees ?. But ?. he or she needs "Executive Presence", or as one client said "He's so low-key he's invisible. Give him "Executive Swagger".
Yet when asked to explain what they mean, their responses remind me of the Supreme Court's comments on pornography - - that it's difficult to define, but you'll know it when you see it.
From our successful interviews and coaching of hundreds of executives, here are some common traits of those who do project Executive Presence: They radiate confidence, poise and authority; they know how to connect with others; and, most important, they build on their own strengths and are genuine.
Following is a 5-point plan to help you build on YOUR strengths so that you project an impression of Executive Presence that matches your abilities:
1. Use your body language and visual image to convey confidence
∑ Stand and walk tall
2. Develop an authoritative voice
∑ Use a low-pitched voice
3. Avoid tentative language such as
∑ "I think ... "; "I guess ... "; "kind of ... "; "maybe ... "
4. Keep your message simple and clear
∑ Cut to the chase
5. Connect with others
∑ Become aware of your effect on others by observing and responding to their body language
© Roberta Prescott
Roberta Prescott heads The Prescott Group, a communication firm specializing in Executive Development. Visit our web site (http://www.theprescottgroup.com) for more information about our Communication Programs and Executive Coaching Service.
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