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How to Develop Executive Presence: 3 Tips

business man in suit and glasses standing on a staircase

Whether you are stepping into a board meeting, facilitating a staff retreat, or leading a virtual meeting, your presence as an executive needs to shine. 

Developing executive presence takes time and focus, but understanding this vital skill and how to apply it will set you aside from other leaders. In this blog, we will explore why executive presence matters, how it impacts your work, and how to cultivate it. 

What is Executive Presence? 

The baseline of this skill is authenticity and effective communication skills. Executive presence is a commitment to improving communication skills by being a good listener and applying storytelling to transform you into a visionary and effective leader.  If your presentation is meek and uninspiring, you will consistently find that you are not identifying or capitalizing on  opportunities to move your company forward. 

How Important is Executive Presence? 

The answer is simple - very important! In an increasingly competitive workforce, having a compelling executive presence will give you the edge to be a successful leader. A leadership role demands that you be effective in your communication, concise in your plan-making, and self-aware of improvement opportunities. 

How can I Cultivate Executive Presence? 

Here are three easy tips to level up your Executive Presence - these tips will give you a roadmap to becoming the confident and effective leader you are meant to be, but the work continues with you.

  1. Be self-aware and spend time with other executives you admire. By studying yourself and others, you train yourself to sustain and develop an executive presence that exudes confidence and power. 
  2. Practice - developing executive presence behaviors requires practice. The more chances you get to lead groups and speak in front of others, the more you will learn to sustain the attention of others, understand your strong points, and identify growth opportunities. 
  3. Hold eye contact, listen to others, and commit to intentional communication. People want to be understood, and acknowledging this requires a level of emotional intelligence. As a leader, your job is to ensure that those on your team are understood. 

Bonus tip: Inspire confidence within your employees - giving others the power to thrive and grow in their paths will demonstrate your executive leadership skills in a compassionate and inviting way. 

Be influential in your career and devote time to how to develop executive presence  - the outcome may surprise you. 

Looking for more opportunities to flex this muscle?

These Berkeley Executive Education programs will improve your executive presence: