Rohit Bassi

Sep 27, 2019


In today’s fast-moving world, the concept of executive presence is getting more important than ever and still, there are so many working people who have no idea of what executive presence is all about.  Research carried out by the Center for Talent Innovation and the Australian HR Institute clearly shows how many people miss out on the elements of executive presence.

Let us look at practical executive presence, why it matters for you and three keys to maintain a strong executive presence.


Practical Executive Presence

Executive presence is basically about how you interact with people in any given scenario (meetings, presentations, conflicts, negotiations). The impressions you make on your peers, and what impact you leave on people around you. Your verbal communication skills, your work personality, and even physicality are important paradigms of making a good executive presence.

It is not just about what you say but how you speak and convey your ideas. It is not about looking like a supermodel but how appropriately you dress up that gives you an authentic look. That means as per Center for Talent Innovation your progress is dependent on the way you

  • Look (7%) – Appearance

  • Speak (31%) – Communication

  • Act (62%) – Gravitas

If you feel like you are lagging in the high-level business world, it’s time to take guidance for developing executive presence.

Does executive presence really matter?

Australian HR Institute shows 10 characteristics that contribute to an executive presence that impacts your leadership presence. The top three being

  • Values-in-action 22% – Courage, integrity, lack of “ego”

  • Interpersonal behavior patterns 17% – Genuineness, respect, valuing of others

  • Demeanour 14% – Confident, composed, authoritative

You need to understand one thing. In work and life, making an impression impacts your progress. It is not about faking it; you have to be authentic. You will eventually need it if you want to be a successful and quantum leap to a position where you dream to be. Otherwise, the right people, no matter how long you are staying in the office to meet the impossible deadlines, will not notice you.

Whether you know it or not, every time the eyes are on you. It’s all on you what kind of impression you want to make – good, bad, or neutral.  Yes, social outings are golden opportunities to increase your network and if you are not making any efforts to develop or improve your executive presence, consider all those opportunities lost.

Three Key Tips to Develop Executive Presence 

1. Appearance matters. Improve It.

All of us know that the first impression is the last impression. So, whenever you have any meetings in the office, at the client’s office, or at some other place like restaurants, dress appropriately. If you look too casual or sloppy, people will instantly prejudice you. They might even think that you are lazy or not senior enough to do your job. Do you want that to happen to you? Certainly not! So, learn how to make an executive presence. Your whole attire must look flawless and impressive.

2. Communicate effectively. Be precise, and strong

Talking to anyone in the corporate circle like a layman is not acceptable anymore. You need to look like a professional and speak like a professional. Be clear, precise, and strong in whatever you want to convey. Avoid words like ‘perhaps’ and ‘I was wondering’. Instead, use words such as ‘I believe’ and ‘my plan is’ that implies you have clear thoughts and you know what you are saying or doing.

3. Demonstrate your gravitas and Levitas. Differentiating factor

Pay attention to your acts when you enter a room. Do you stand straight? Do you make eye contact? Do you feel confident to interact? Make sure you are aware of people around you and people are aware of your presence. It’s because if you are not aware, they are not aware too. This may lead to a negative impression. Substance matters, which will up your reputation, make you influential and show your conviction.

Always be aware of what makes you unique so that, you can contribute. This allows others to embrace you with full confidence.

Attending sessions for developing executive presence will introduce you to various ways that will help you create a long-lasting impression and strengthen your presence in your corporate circle.

Written by:

Rohit Bassi


Sep 27, 2019