Although very different people, they both had that confidence and composure that allowed them to connect with others. Chances are, you may need executive presence, too, to get venture capital for your business, motivate your staff or get a promotion. In a survey of CIOs, conducted by Gartner, it was second on the list of the top 20 leadership traits that make a difference. Composure: Self-awareness and understanding others are essential components of executive presence.
Connection:A Ita€™s critical to engage others when communicating and make them feel comfortable.
Confidence: One key aspect of executive presence is to communicate confidence both in what you say and how you say it.
Credibility: Not only is your content important, but the language you choose to deliver it will impact your credibility.

And you dona€™t have to be the most gregarious or outspoken person in the room to demonstrate executive presence. The ability to control your emotions, recognize emotion in others and manage your response to them is key. The best way to connect is to understand your communication style challenges, how to overcome them, and how to read and adapt to the style of others.
This is often achieved through strong listening skills and an ability to stay a€?in the moment.a€? As a result, the people with whom you are communicating know that you are solely focused on them, and not distracted by the many other things you could be doing at that moment. Filler language such as a€?um,a€? a€?uh,a€? and a€?soa€? immediately detract from presence. Just as it is critical to know what you want to communicate, you must be able to do it concisely.
Ia€™ve seen many executives develop their presence with a little personal reflection, practice and coaching.

As do minimizers like a€?just,a€? a€?sort of,a€? and a€?this may not be a good idea buta€¦a€? When someone with strong presence speaks, others take note, and there is no doubt of the conviction behind their words.
Ask yourself, a€?What is my message in 10 words or fewer?a€? If you cana€™t articulate it to yourself you are not ready to communicate it to others.
Once youa€™ve delivered your message and validated it briefly, reverse back to others by asking, a€?What else can I share with you about this idea?a€? This way you stay on point and only expand on a topic with the content that your listener needs. Ensure you only speak when making eye contact and manage your eye focus appropriately when communicating with more than one person a€” one thought per person.
Ensure your facial expression matches your message and that your voice has good pitch, volume, and pace.

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