We have all witnessed that moment when a natural leader walks into a room packed with people and instantly commands attention.
People consciously or subconsciously find themselves gravitating towards that person. What is that “it” factor that makes this person stand out from the crowd? Executive presence.
If you’re a business professional with leadership ambitions and hoping to climb the corporate ladder, building executive presence is a must. In a recent survey, executive presence was ranked number two on the list of top 20 leadership traits that make a difference. In a separate survey, 268 senior executives said that executive presence counts for 26% of what it takes to get promoted. So, how exactly does one build executive presence?
- Confidence: Confidence is a key component of executive presence. Both your verbal and non-verbal communication should exude confidence whenever you’re in a professional setting. Nonverbally, take note of your posture, eye contact, and even your facial expressions, and ask yourself whether or not they reflect confidence. In terms of spoken communication skills, take stock of how you speak, the words you use, your vocal projection and your pace.
- Clarity: Having clear communication not only avoids miscommunications and confusion; it is also essential to projecting confident executive presence. The goal is to command your audience’s attention and keep it. According to Howard Gardner in his book Leading minds, “every leader from every part of the world possesses powerful communication skills.”
- Connection: Establishing a strong connection fosters relationships with colleagues, clients, and even an audience. Are you able to engage your listener with your very first word? Do you make them feel as though they are a priority and you understand their problems and concerns? Does your body language communicate that you are fully engaged in the exchange?
- Composure: Composure is a measure of how well you present yourself in less than ideal conditions. How well do you maintain control of your emotions in difficult situations? How well do you manage the emotions of others? Do you remain calm and confident under pressure?
- Focused and to the Point: Focus on choosing your words wisely and communicate your message concisely. Get your point across in a succinct manner and move on to the next subject or topic. This will help make your point more memorable, and project confidence in your message.
If you’re looking for more ways to craft a strong, confident image that will help you to achieve your professional goals, make sure to pick up a free copy of my e-book “Communicate with Clarity and Confidence!” by subscribing to our newsletter community on our website. In this free resource, I break down the myriad factors that contribute to confident communication and guide you through how to use each aspect to your advantage.
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