Executive Presence: The “It” Factor– do you have it?

Think back to a recent meeting, was there someone who just seemed to attract and engage everyone around the table? Someone who has the ability to command attention and leave everyone wanting more? That’s the “it” factor.  Executive presence is the ability to project confidence, poise under pressure and decisiveness. The “it” factor includes speaking skills, assertiveness and appearance.  So before going into your next meeting, consider the following advice from author Ashley Cobert to provide that leadership demeanor.

Be polished, poised and prepared:

A person with executive presence never lets people see them harried.  They are not flustered when speaking and even in the wake of a crisis will show up looking put together. The secret? Spend extra time beforehand to prepare yourself for anything. Be calm, collected and the person with all the answers and you’ll be seen as a leader.
Mind your body language:

In your next meeting, look around and note how everyone is sitting. People with executive presence demand more control over the room. (Ever heard of the power stance?) Stand or sit tall, look engaged by leaning slightly forward, and take up space by putting your arms on the table, not huddling them to your body.  Make sure to maintain eye contact with everyone in the room, which is not only personable, it conveys confidence.

Make others feel special:

As Maya Angelou said, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”  People who have executive presence are approachable and engaging, whether they are dealing with a receptionist or a CEO.  They’re natural, sincere, and show a genuine interest in those around them.

Whether you are a small business owner, college graduate, or seasoned professional,
executive presence is a learned skill set.  There are no age boundaries or minority limitations – executive presence is a quality worth cultivating.  It will give you an added edge to help you grow your relationships with customers, employees, and associates.

My specialty is packaging people! Everyone makes judgments about a person’s character, credibility, intelligence, or income level based on first impressions.
What do you think your image tells the world?
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