When I think of executive presence, I think in terms of how my verbal and non-verbal cues signal people.
I’m Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter. I coach people. I’m a job search and leadership career coach. I am the head coach for NoBSCoachingAdvice.com and JobSearchCoachingHQ.com. I want to talk with those of you who are concerned about your executive presence, and talk with you about how to make changes to your presence in order to be more effective professionally.
Now, I want to be clear. I can’t help you do better at what you do. I’m not responsible for your knowledge base or your capabilities. Here, what I’m doing is looking at it from the perspective of your image. Image is not just simply about what you look like. Image is about how you present and how it’s congruent.
For example, if I want to present as a friendly guy, I put a smile on my face, a twinkle in my eyes, and I try to make connections as a friend would. If I want to get serious, I tilt my head slightly forward. I stare right at the camera and you know, I’m deadly serious. Now, when you think of presence, what I want you to think of, and this is the most simple way of doing it, is not your image, but how your verbal and nonverbal cues signal people about your authority. This doesn’t require that you would be six foot four; it doesn’t indicate that you should be five foot two. It doesn’t matter which one it is. It’s about what the verbal and nonverbal cues tell people.
It’s in your speech; it’s in your wardrobe. Are you dressed properly for the circumstance? Are you in a situation where you’re able to project your authority and need to, because you’re going to be the one who’s going to be presenting as the subject matter expert to a group of, perhaps, more senior people. Think in terms of how your leadership carries itself?
Some of this needs to be developed as a habit. One of the simplest ways to do it is to think in the context of how do I present by comparison to someone who I really admire. Now, this isn’t about self-flagellation or criticism. It’s about learning from this. What do they do different than what I do? Can I practice doing what they do and still be myself? Can I modify their behaviors and make them my own and, in that way, it’s congruent with my personality.
Do I dress well-enough. It doesn’t matter whether you’re male or female. There’s an appearance thing about this. There’s always something that helps people make that connection and demonstrates authority. . . . Because that’s, ultimately, when people talk with me about executive presence, they want to present authority, command, capability. It takes practice.
It’s not just simply, “Oh, I’m going to think about this for five minutes. . . Imagine for a second, I’m that person and I’m good to go for the rest of my life!” No. Habits need time to be defeated. They take focus and concentration, you may slip back at times but unless you start taking action, you’ll always be in the situation where you’re questioning yourself and your capabilities.
Practice. I’ll just use myself as an example. If you ever found my first couple of YouTube videos, I’m awful in front of the camera. I was uncomfortable. I spoke very slowly in order to ensure that . . . I was awful. These days, I speak to people as though they’re right in front of me, just like I’m doing with you tonight.
Practice. Again, what’s the message that your behavior and speech sends that confirms or defeats the image that you want to present to people. Start practicing.
If you’d like some help, reach out to me, you can do it through my website, TheBigGameHunter.us. You can schedule a free discovery call with me through there or connect with me on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/in/thebiggamehunter. Once connected, message that you’re interested in coaching. We’ll set up time for a free discovery call.
Have a great day and take care.
ABOUT JEFF ALTMAN, THE BIG GAME HUNTER
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked in recruiting for what seems like one hundred years. He is the head coach for NoBSCoachingAdvice.com. He is the host of “The No BS Coaching Advice Podcast,” and “No BS Job Search Advice.”
Are you interested in my coaching you? Connect with me on LinkedIn and, once we are connected, message me. If you have questions for me, call me through the Magnifi app for iOS (video) https://thebiggamehunter.us/magnifi or PrestoExperts.com (phone)
Subscribe to the “The No BS Coaching Advice Podcast.”
Join Career Angles on Facebook and receive support, ideas and advice in your current career and job.