3 Essential Tips To Build Your Executive Presence For Business Executives
Fact is – it’s a rat race out there.
Yet the truth is all of us aspire to do well in our careers.
Doing well comes in different forms but generally, they will never deviate from getting that promotion, receiving more opportunities and ultimately a pay raise.
But have you ever paused to ask yourself if you deserved that pay raise, promotion or opportunity? Good things don’t always happen instantaneously. You have to work for it.
If a picture paints a thousand words and a face could launch a thousand ships, then what would it speak of you?
I think it all boils down to this word – presence.
Having been invited to speak to the staff at Tableau Software today, I further elaborated on what it means to exude “executive presence”. And truth is, I really enjoyed interacting with the fun lot of participants.
It’s hard to confine ‘presence’ into a strict definition. Generally, I would term it as a “charismatic personality who embodies traits of confidence and leadership.” Your presence is built upon what I would call the holy trinity of the 3 Ps.
Executive Presence Tip #1: Persona
You don’t have to have matinee-idol looks. Neither do you have to be dressed from head to toe in branded labels. The minimum requirement is for you to be dressed appropriately and professionally. Your persona sends an instant message about who you are and what values you represent.
Like it or not, we live in a cruel world where people are constantly judging us by our image. If the image you project shows others you are disheveled, it would not be difficult to associate you with sloppy work.
Remember this – your persona is the first thing people encounter. And in this internet age, your online persona speaks volumes of who you are too.
Executive Presence Tip #2: Posture
I’ve had participants ask me this question before – why do people not take me seriously?
The reason is because when you have to ‘sell’ or ‘promote’ yourself, your body language changes automatically.
Your posture is everything. Do you have an executive presence that exudes confidence and leadership? Or is your posture one of defeat, resignation and negativity?
Think about how you engage others – either one on one or in front of an audience.
Do you send across good vibes and transmit positive energy? Or do you start thinking to yourself when this is going to really end?
Whether you are standing or sitting, there are different postures you should adopting. Let’s talk about sitting. Leaning forward while doing your sharing shows you are truly engaged, animated and interested in the conversation.
On the other hand, leaning backwards shows you are detached, disinterested and bored.
Executive Presence Tip #3: Positioning
I love to speak to audience or individuals with gravitas. That’s because if you have gravitas, you would have mastered the third P – that of positioning.
Whether you believe in quantum physics or not is immaterial. The only thing you need to remember is that we are all masses of energy. And energy either attracts other sources of energy or suck them dry. This depends on whether we are talking about positive or negative energy.
Do you work on your feelings and thoughts enough for your actions to have a positive effect? Or are you simply carried away by the mundaneness of the job?
A high energy person carries with him boundless hope, passion and vision. He is someone we want to team with because positive people have good communication and behavioural skills – traits that are essential to progress in the corporate world.
If you open yourself up to others with the right positioning, people will feel your ‘aura’ and be drawn to you.