9 Tips for Women Leaders to Convey Executive Presence.

Amy Tez
Amy Tez
Aug 21, 2017 · 5 min read
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Jessica Pearson nailing it in Suits.

Much of how women (and men) are perceived as leaders is tied absolutely to the way they communicate. In a male-dominated environment, particularly at senior management level, it is imperative that women learn to speak up and demand their place at the table. Without killer communication skills, women will fail to distinguish themselves.

Enter Executive Presence….

But what is it exactly?

People often refer to executive presence as charisma or the X-factor, or they sometimes refer to historical greats who are famed for attracting popularity through their presence alone. However, none of this is helpful.

So, how do we begin to embody charisma when it’s such a vague term and could mean different things to different people?

Executive presence is an art, like negotiation skills or acting. It’s fundamentally about developing your own original voice. It’s an art because it is deeply personal and must be refined and mastered over time through experimentation, failure and repeated execution.

9 Practical Tools to Increase Executive Presence:

1. Embrace Your Unique Value.

2. Be Self-Aware.

3. Think Before You Speak.

4. Breathe.

5. Use the Power of Silence.

A well-chosen pause also allows the listener to digest your message. At the same time, you give yourself the opportunity to assess your listeners’ behaviour. When you do that, you can tailor your words and actions accordingly and you became a class negotiator.

6. Meaningfully Engage with your Audience.

7. Assert Boundaries.

8. Employ Wit.

Your sense of humour is a reflection of your wit and intelligence. If you feel you don’t have wit, it’s a skill that can be learned just like any other. Humour is also important to diffuse tension, as well-placed humour will be appreciated and respected.

9. Dress the Part.

In the corporate world, there are obvious limits. You can’t wear an elephant suit to work as much as it would please you. Nevertheless, you can always find a way, no matter how small, to assert your individuality through your choice of dress. Be creative and imaginative.

The winning thread that runs through each of these tools is YOU.

Your originality sits at the core of your ability to communicate authentically and powerfully. So, continually nurture and refine yourself, your voice and your inner strength.

Executive presence is inherently a developmental process of daily emotional weight-lifting, a process of becoming your real self when it is easier and more tempting to run with the herd and jump on the bandwagon of mediocrity.

As Jungian psychologist James Hollis states,

“We are not here to fit in, to be well-balanced, or provide exempla for others. We are here to be eccentric, different, perhaps strange, perhaps merely to add our small piece, our little clunky, clunky selves, to the great mosaic of being. As the gods intended, we are here to become more and more ourselves.”

Amy Tez is founder of Radical Collective Ltd, a coaching and consultancy practice that delivers masterclasses on pitching, executive presence and killer communication skills. She has coached over 1000 Seed and Series A+ tech companies and shares leadership insights at www.amytez.com/blog

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Amy Tez

Written by

Amy Tez

Pitch Trainer; works with business leaders, entrepreneurs, actors, politicians and all those who want to inspire brilliantly — www.amytez.com

Mission.org

A network of business & tech podcasts designed to accelerate learning. Selected as “Best of 2018” by Apple. Mission.org

Amy Tez

Written by

Amy Tez

Pitch Trainer; works with business leaders, entrepreneurs, actors, politicians and all those who want to inspire brilliantly — www.amytez.com

Mission.org

A network of business & tech podcasts designed to accelerate learning. Selected as “Best of 2018” by Apple. Mission.org

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