Bringing a commanding presence into a meeting is no small feat. You can imagine the number of glances that will be thrown at you when you walk into a room filled with people with an executive presence.
According to Bizfluent, leadership happens more easily and with greater impact when you have a strong command presence. Your body language, composure and ability to think and coordinate with others communicate that you know what you are doing, that you can be trusted and that you are worthy of respect.
Hence, if you’re a leader or any other person with a desire to have an executive presence in the room, you will learn key ways that can show you how to have an executive presence in a meeting.
What is Executive Presence?
Executive presence is the ability to express a sense of confidence, decisiveness, dignity and poise.
Executive presence can be difficult to identify and correctly define. However, many industry professionals say that it’s the ability to express a general sense of poise, confidence, decisiveness and dignity.
The term also holds the characteristics of a sound leader. For instance, individuals with executive presence are efficient communicators that handle situations that come with pressure while they observe an environment or situation and know exactly how to handle it.
In general, executive presence is a persona that allows everyone to know that he or she is in charge, confident, and capable of leading others.
Why You Need Executive Presence
Looking at all the aspects from a frame, professional presence is crucially the structuring of your well-developed expertise and abilities in a way that reveals to others you’re a person who can lead, inspire confidence, and get the job done. Through your actions and communications, you spread the right message.
It plays a vital role in your success. Your emotional intelligence (EI), image, interactions and impressions shapes this with individuals both in person and online. Ultimately, it will properly define your brand and reward you with personal fulfillment, promotion and the potential to reach your goals.
Colleagues in the presence of a leader with executive presence feel the need to keep going with the flow. It’s the “secret ingredient” that makes for an outstanding leader. Fortune Magazine even says executive presence is “the ability of the leader to engage, align, inspire, and move people to act.”
Further Reading: How can I Become an Executive Assistant? |Best Answers
How to Have an Executive Presence in a Meeting | Top Guide
When you want to show an executive presence in a meeting, you need to learn the rules to apply that help you achieve this goal efficiently. They include:
An executive with good executive presence never shows her sweat. She doesn’t appear rushed as she rushes from meeting to meeting; she doesn’t seem frazzled when she speaks, and she appears to be the type of person who, even amid a crisis in the middle of the night, could still appear put-together.
How do you maintain such composure (even if you’re running from from one meeting to the next)? First, always take a moment to settle yourself before entering a room—take a deep breath, smooth your hair, and slow down. But, more importantly, give yourself additional time to prepare for anything. Consider what questions your supervisor or client might ask, and prepare a well-thought-out response to avoid having to hurry through them.
Understand Your Body Language
When you arrive for a meeting, it’s vital to note what everybody is doing. Typically, shy or unconfident people will use close up mechanisms to mask themselves. You can imagine when a huge personality is staring at you in this position.
People with executive presence take up more control over the room. They usually adopt a power stance that gives them a prominent position. By sitting tall, leaning slightly forward, showing interest and taking up more space, you practice this routine effectively.
Also, maintain solid eye contact with everyone in the room which portrays your confidence to everyone.
Speaking loudly and clearly is one of the finest ways to appear in any meeting. And a good practice while speaking could be to avoid unsure words such as “I think” and “I may” which only portray a lack of confidence.
Also, be bold in the silence. People might speak to fill the silence, which can lead to unintelligent statements. You could decide to leave others hanging onto your every word, not trying to stay awake while they glance at the clock and wonder when you’ll finish.
Make Others Feel Valuable
It was Maya Angelou that posited, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Overall, one of the best ways to display executive presence is to make everyone around you feel valued and cared for.
Although you might not see it as the best line of action, it is an approach you should adopt. Ensure you try not to interrupt the conversation. When someone is talking, maintain eye contact, lean toward them and pay deep attention to the conversation. After listening, you ask questions that reflect you were listening to the person.
When it comes to executive presence, remember your actions. So, take the time to think through everything you do and discover the perception people have around it. By practicing these skills, you get better by the day.
Use Positive Affirmations
To connect with participants and maintain positive relationships, use plenty of positive affirmations to show you appreciate all ideas that come to your table. Ensure you mention specific people’s contributions and thank them for their contribution. This will portray to the people that you see them as individuals and create a sense of warmth which is too often is lacking in a video conference.
When you enter a space, ensure you’re always powerfully dressed. You’ll convey a greater sense of capability when you dress in an impressive way. Dressing for work and then drifting into casual clothes after the work day ends also presents a ritual that separates work time from home time, helping you feel more focused and present.
Give Non-Verbal Affirmation
Nod your head when you agree with the message of anyone saying something. Nonverbal affirmation works better when you use small verbal cues like “yes” and “I agree.” With small nonverbal cues, you’ll ensure you’re not garnering all the attention while another person speaks.
By working extra hard to project the traits of executive presence and navigate the medium of video conferencing with skill, you’ll hold meetings that get results.
Executive presence is critical, but it doesn’t always need to exude mystery. Most importantly, it is a skill, not a trait — that means it’s something you can cultivate and build.
At a nominal level, this presence gives you the platform to influence, empower, speak with confidence, and lead.