How to Become it – How to Achieve it – Introduction to Executive Presence | Diane Craig

Why Executive Presence?

Today’s business professionals face the challenges of a fiercely competitive marketplace. Creating a personal brand is vital – in order to stand out from all this competition. Yet, brand creation alone is not enough. It’s imperative to send a clear message of proficiency, adeptness and power. And that’s exactly what Executive Presence does. We’ve all experienced a sense of awe when weʼre exposed to an absolutely riveting speaker. We are instantly engaged. We recognize the speaker’s strength and character. Weʼre drawn to the aura of Executive Presence


Executive Presence has 4 pillars or components. These 4 pillars have interdependency. They work together to form a secure base for EP.

EP1. First Impressions

EP2. Communication Skills

EP3. The Executive Best Practices

EP4. Appearance

We’ll spend time understanding how each contributes to EP but first, let’s briefly review their defining characteristics.


How are First Impressions created?

The truth is that First Impressions are formed on very little information. We tend to make assumptions and judgments based on spur of the moment hunches and “intuition.” Experts agree that we have a genetic predisposition to form fast, accurate First Impressions. This intuitive ability can be traced back to our cavemen ancestors who were on high alert every time an outsider appeared on the horizon – friend or foe? Itʼs in our DNA to jump to conclusions when we meet someone new.

  • The 4 Variables


There are three parts:

  1. Non-verbal Communication Skills
  2. Interpersonal Communication Skills
    • Introductions of self and others
    • Personal branding
    • Stand out when you speak
    • Conversational intelligence
    • How to command and work a room
    • How to host and attend business meals
  1. Digital Presence

Communication Skills are compulsory!

Every single interaction means something. Email. Verbal communication. Everything matters. Every time you communicate it should reflect positively on you.” — Dr. Rohini Anand, Sodexo, Senior Vice President and Global Chief Diversity Officer, in a statement appearing in the CTI Report on Executive Presence.


Peoples’ actions and behaviors have a profound impact on their perceived presence and reputation. How people act and behave may be even more crucial than how they speak or look. Whether it is daily interactions, casual, office events or formal meetings, “performance” is constantly being judged – often from the sidelines and not when the person is center stage.

People with authentic EP have far more than poise and self-assurance. They emanate an air of leadership authority – an abstract but perceptible “aura” that originates from within. Our radar generally spots pretenders who fail to demonstrate consistency in their actions and behaviors.

  A. The Intangibles

  • The Executive Brain
  • The 6 core traits of Executive Presence

B. The Demonstration: Demonstrating EP in everyday workplace activities

Every business professional knows that high level performance and exceptional communication skills are essential to EP. Appropriate and consistent behavior is equally fundamental across the spectrum of daily corporate life including:

  • Office politics
  • Boardroom savvy
  • Ways to increase your Executive Presence


A frequently quoted axiom of HR professionals is, “Dress for the position you want, not for the one you have.” In order to even be considered for the role, the person must look the part. This is a great strategy but surprisingly a frequently misunderstood one. An IT new recruit may, indeed, have C-Suite aspirations but this is not to suggest the prerequisite for advancement is an Armani wardrobe. It’s extraordinary how often young, aspiring men and women underestimate the significance of grooming.  As a leader, you’re the role model for emerging leaders and members of your team.

Author : Diane Craig
Position : President
Company : Corporate Class Inc.

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