What exactly is executive presence? A term that many professionals find hard to define, although “they know it when they see it” can be explained as how you manage the way you are perceived by others.
As an article in the USA today explains, “If you’re going to be a big shot at a company, you’d better look good, sound good and keep it together under pressure.
That, in essence, is what is referred to as “executive presence.””
According to a study from the Center for Talent Innovation, executive presence is essentially what you need to get ahead – in fact it holds a whopping 25% influence in grabbing your next promotion.
There are three key areas you need to excel at that will influence how others perceive you in terms of the amount of executive presence you project:
This is the ability to project decisiveness, confidence and poise under pressure. It’s the core characteristic of executive presence, according to 67 percent of those surveyed.
This includes excellent speaking skills, assertiveness and the ability to read an audience or a situation. It also can involve how you sound.
Specifically, 59 percent of those surveyed said sounding uneducated detracts from a woman’s executive presence and 58 percent said it detracts from a man’s executive presence.
3. Appearance. This includes looking polished and “pulled together.”
The most notable blunders are unkempt attire with 83 percent saying it detracts from a woman’s executive presence and 76 percent saying it detracts from a man’s executive presence. Seventy three percent say that too tight or provocative clothing detracts from a woman’s executive presence.
Although some say executive presence is an innate, natural ability, in my experience it can be a learned skill and get better with practice. There are countless success stories of how executive presence training has helped people like you get ahead.
If you want to get ahead in your business or your career start by working on the 25 percent that will get you there – start by building your executive presence.