Expressing a true feeling of executive presence can be a challenge. Sometimes the techniques may seem coercive. So, perhaps it is a blessing that we are seeing fewer power ties and clichéd power stances, and we are subject to fewer confusing strong handshakes these days.
But first, what is executive presence? Simply put, it’s your body language and your voice – the way you stand, move, support, and speak is what makes other people think of you as CEO. Some professionals have a natural ability to project executive presence and some may require training and training. In this article, you’ll learn 6 main strategies for developing an executive presence so that you can emerge as a leader in person or virtually.
Executive presence is a trait all aspiring executives know they need, but its definition is vague at best. Is it charisma? Is it a blessing under pressure? Will those in charge of your career path agree that you have “that”? If it is considered that you lack executive presence, you may miss a promotion or other job opportunities. Rather than leaving things to chance and hoping you have what it takes, it is smart to take proactive steps to build this important element of leadership.
The problem with the lack of executive presence is that you have reduced your personal influence. Your leadership qualities will be overlooked by others, and no one will notice you when it comes to development and promotion opportunities.
While it is important not to judge a book by its cover, our human instinct is to respond to first impressions. So it is vitally important, when developing your personal leadership, that you think about the impression you are making as you enhance your executive presence. Developing your executive presence will enable you to engage more effectively with others, increase your level of attractiveness and achieve greater personal and business results.
How to have an executive presence in a Meeting
The key to raising your executive presence is knowing how to use your body language effectively. Alternatively, you may sabotage your effectiveness by not knowing how to use it properly. Research indicates that our body language can be responsible for up to 80% of how we treat others, positively or negatively. The benefits of recognizing the accurate messages that we and others send as well as making others feel comfortable is critical in moving forward in all areas of your life.
What often hinders people in creating the executive existence they desire is either that they shrink and appear insecure or that they are opportunistic, aggressive, and arrogant.
Using your body language effectively is the key to developing your executive presence. Good leaders adopt the natural body language of senior managers to increase their interactions with others. Here’s how they do it:
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How to have an executive presence
1. Stop censoring yourself
Once you stop censoring yourself, you will automatically speak more times. It is important to share your thoughts and ideas without over-modifying them or restricting your expression. Don’t lose valuable opportunities to share your views and be seen as an influential person.
2. Choose a topic in advance
Before each meeting, choose one topic or agenda item that you address, even if your viewpoint conflicts with prevailing opinion, is potentially confrontational, or even a point of contention. Identify a topic of interest to you and prepare in advance so you are ready to add to the discussion.
3. Be spatially aware
Knowing how to take charge of the space around them. Take their seats at the boardroom table and use them effectively. For example, sheets spread in front of it, sit sideways along the edge of the table, and take up more space. Knowing where to stand when giving a presentation to better communicate with their audience. Knowing where to stand when meeting someone for the first time or at an event allows others to join the conversation. Knowing where to sit in a meeting 1: 1. All of this will have an impact on how others view you and your experience.
4. Develop eye contact
Realize the importance of eye contact as a way to engage others. Knowing when to use eye contact to generate more thinking about another person. Knowing how to look soft instead of staring hard. Eye contact is one way to make or break effective contact.
5. Be intentional with your vocal variety
Conditioning your tone and the speed at which you speak is a powerful tool that great leaders use. Women are sometimes encouraged to lower their accent and speak more slowly to create a larger executive presence. A deeper, lower tone is heard subconsciously as an individual who is more reliable and requires more respect. Research reveals that by lowering their tone of voice, strengthening their posture, focusing their emotions, and stabilizing their bodies, women demonstrate strong leadership qualities without losing their feminine traits that contribute so effectively.
6. Hand gestures
Provide clear and specific hand gestures to amplify your message both when presenting and interacting with another person. Open hand gestures to welcome others, palms to guide or clarify a point, and open your fingers as if you are cuddling a ball to draw people to your idea.
Less is more when you want to create a bigger executive presence. Imagine seeing someone rushing into a meeting, a coat falling off their arm, papers flying off and nearly tripping as they enter a room! (I’ve seen this happen). Walking calmly and with purpose creates a strong impression. Silence when communicating is a great leadership quality. When introducing, some animations are a powerful way to anchor your message. Being on stage can be a distraction.
· Be on guard and prepared
A person with good executive presence does not allow people to see race. She doesn’t rush from meeting to meeting, she doesn’t get disoriented when she talks, and it looks like she’s the one who, even in the aftermath of a midnight crisis, can still show up together.
How do you achieve this kind of balance (even if you are running from meeting to meeting)? First, before entering the room, always take a quick second to configure yourself – take a deep breath, smooth your hair, and slow down.
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