How To Exhibit Executive Presence Like A Boss [Literally]

Wouldn’t it be nice to walk into a meeting and immediately demand attention? I’m sure you know those people who have this presence and leaving everyone wanting more. Someone who has the ability to strut into a boardroom and be likable, command respect, and people can’t get enough… what is it about this person? They just get it. 

May he or she is born with it? Or maybe it’s their executive presence [EP]. For some, this vibe comes naturally, for others? Not so much. It’s an important skill to develop for a career, and especially if you’re in a leadership role or on track to become a manager.

Keep your cool

Someone with EP will never let people see them break a sweat. It’s natural for people to get nervous when attending or holding a meeting. But a strong leader with EP doesn’t get flustered—think: calm, cool, and collective. Before entering a meeting, take a few deep breaths, count to 10, slow your roll, and tell yourself uplifting words to boost confidence.

Control your body language

How to present yourself physically will determine how much respect you’ll receive. Would you take your CEO seriously if they slouched or didn’t make eye contact? That would be nothing shorter than unprofessional and strange. To demand more control over the room, practice the power stance—stand tall, slightly lean forward to appear engaged, make direct eye contact, and if you’re sitting, take up more room by putting your arms on the table.

Speak your mind

Don’t be afraid to share your ideas or holdback thoughts—that’s a rookie move. Speak your mind while also speaking clearly, strongly, and loud enough to be heard. Avoid phrases that begin with “I think” or “I hope”… those are conditional phrases that lack confidence. Also, embrace silence. It’s better to not say anything than to fill silent moments with statements that are filler sentences which end up sounding not so intelligent.

Listen to others

Someone who earns respect also knows how to respect others. One of the best ways to obtain EP is to make others around you feel special. By “special” I mean heard, respected, and valued. Don’t be the only one talking—let others have a change. Ask others great, thought-provoking questions. The more you listen to others, the more they will want to listen to you. Respect is a two-way street.



Denis Coleman

Denis Coleman is the founder and CEO of Work Compass, a cloud staff performance collaboration software platform that helps teams align their efforts with strategic goals and continuously improve performance. Frustrated with the disconnect between strategy setting and day to day execution and the lack of tools available to managers to help them be great at their most important function …. Aligning their teams activities with strategic goals and actively managing for high performance Denis spent over 5 years researching strategy execution and performance management practices before founding Work Compass to create a software solution. Denis has held senior roles in Ireland, Czech Republic and North America with high performing electronics manufacturing and professional services organisations for more than 12 years. Denis has worked as Finance Director responsible for €800 million in annual revenues for Flextronics International, Key Account Manager responsible for annual revenues of more than €600 million for Dovatron International and Management Consultant for BDO one of Europe’s most successful professional services providers.

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