Young executives want other executives in their company to see them as a peer. So, they think by developing executive presence they can achieve peer status.
They are right.
What they often do though is to believe executive presence means you act like a jerk. They think they have to be super bold, supremely confident and maybe even a little arrogant.
That doesn’t work. It only works if you want to be labeled as a bold, supremely confident and arrogant know-it-all.
What properly developed executive presence does do is give you credibility. When you get this kind of credibility, the room quiets down when you speak and the other executives in the room take out their pads and take notes while you speak. You don’t have to be extraverted. You just have to be credible.
Here are just a couple ways to develop your executive presence:
1. Keep it concise
If you can make a very strong point in a short, powerful concise way, you can begin to be noted as powerful. When you speak with brevity, you increase the power of the words you speak.
2. Talk With People, Not To Them
Some people just haven’t learned how to connect with people in a room. They end up sounding like a lecture instead of a chat around the fire. You have to learn how to deliver a message not announce one.
3. Handle Tough Questions
You need to be able to handle difficult inquiries without it rocking your boat and/or the atmosphere of the room. Leaders who have developed executive presence have a calming effect when it feels like things could easily be out of control.
Developing executive presence is not a way of acting. This is not necessarily a performance, it is an entirely a way of thinking and feeling. It’s about what you say and how you say it. You have to be an exceptionally good listener and tremendously great stabilizer. This is the basis of executive presence and that is what gives you enormous credibility and respect as an executive peer.