Why Executive Presence is Vital for Everyone

You know it the moment you see it – you might be watching a video on your phone and someone enters the screen or it’s on your TV during a television show or a movie, or you’re in the room and you don’t just see it, you feel it. That moment that that kind of person enters the room.

You might call it the “It Factor, the X Factor” – in the corporate world, we call it Executive Presence.

I have had several people share with me, “Colleen, I don’t really need to worry about upping my game when it comes to Executive Presence because I’m not really interested in a formal leadership role. I’m not interested in accelerating to that VP or C-suite level.” Well, I attend and speak at a lot of conferences and I was observing during the networking times, they always have networking breaks or maybe just a happy hour at the end of the first day.

And I was observing, who are the people that are really drawing other people into their conversation? And it was absolutely those same people who have the Executive Presence. You feel this kind of grounding or weight when you’re around them. They have what we call gravitas, this confidence level. They also smile, they have a lot of energy, it’s like you are attracted to them; you want to go be around them.

You can feel it, even if you can’t hear what they’re saying. They also have a high level of communication skills, and it’s not so much about what they’re speaking about, but it’s the way in which they’re communicating whatever their message is. So even if you or someone on your team hasn’t really been thinking about that next level for formal leadership, or might be thinking, you know what, I’m never going to be speaking in front of a group, I don’t really give presentations; I don’t need to worry about Executive Presence.

Yes, yes you and they do too! Think about how it can impact your networking opportunities, your opportunities to either, even if it’s a lateral move within the organization or if you decide to leave your company, how that could help you. And outside of work, how could having that next level of presence, that “It Factor,” how could that impact your personal life, what you do outside of your job?