Clients who are trying to improve how they communicate in business often also are in search of executive presence. They do go hand in hand. That’s because developing executive presence is a key benefit from improving how you present ideas.
Whether you’re speaking before a large audience of prospective clients or a smaller internal audience such as a board of directors, your executive presence grows every time you nail a presentation.
Google the topic “executive presence.” You’ll find hundreds of articles and blogs on the topic. The discussion frequently focuses on three areas: how you look, act and speak. Business leaders who have executive presence come in all sizes, genders, ages, races, colors and creeds. So, there is no “look.” Business leaders have many different decision-making styles. So, there is no one “style.” But they do have one of those three “must-haves” in common; they know how to communicate effectively.
If you’re looking to develop an executive presence, start with nailing those presentations. Here are three key steps to take immediately:
- Eliminate language that diminishes what you have to say. Say “I believe” rather than “I think.” Say “I will” rather than “I’ll try.” Don’t begin a comment with a qualifier that quickly suggests doubt such as, “This may seem like a crazy idea, but …” Your idea isn’t crazy, it’s a fresh or innovative approach.
- Develop a point of view. An audience, big or small, is looking for your opinion, backed up, of course, by data and supporting points.
- Believe in yourself. You are attending the meeting or presenting because you have an expertise. Embrace the knowledge and experience that you bring to the table.
Take these three key steps today, and you’ll begin to build your executive presence tomorrow.