What is Executive Presence? How can a professional man capture it?
“Antonio, I have a question about executive presence. I'm a manager for my company and the big boss talks a lot about how we should carry ourselves and look the part of a person who is able and powered and willing to get the job done for our customers and employees. Again, while following the dress code, how do you suggest dressing for a more powerful, impactful presence in the workplace? I've done some research, but it's really hard to find information and tips regarding personal presentation for executive presence.”
It's like the word “synergy”. It is a byproduct of something else.
Executive presence, you don't want to build that up. That's not what you're looking for because executive presence is the byproduct of good leadership.
If you focus on being a leader within your company, executive presence, that feeling that when people are around you, they trust you, they want to follow you, that is because you're a good leader.
That would be the first thing I want to point at and probably why it's hard to find information about it because it's like chasing a shadow. You're talking about the shadow when really the man who is casting the shadow, that part, that's being a good leader.
Let's assume that you are a good leader. What are other things that you can do so that physically people will believe when they see you that, “He just looks like a leader.”
What Do We Notice About Good Leadership?
One thing we notice, they've got pretty good posture. There have been great leaders without great posture.
Mahatma Gandhi, he's usually hunched over and stuff, but I think that was part of what this presentation was, what he was putting forward was.He was very humble.Mother Teresa, she did not have the best posture. Those are called outliers.
If you look at some of the best leaders, some of the people that men would follow, women would follow, they put their chest out, they put their shoulders back and they had good posture.
They stood up because they believed in they were saying. They weren't ashamed.
It's one of those things. Whenever a dog cowers down, it's kind of submitting itself. To be a leader, you're not going to really often submit yourself.
You're going to be putting yourself up there. You realize that someone may throw an egg at you.
There may be people that may physically try to hit you, but you are going to put your chest out. You're going to put your face out there and you are being a leader, so proper posture.
The way you talk. Now, I have seen some amazing leaders who have speech impediments, some leaders who can't even talk. They've got to use sign language.
Usually the person knows what they're talking about and they're so well prepared that they're able to talk about whatever it is they're a professional in and it just flows off their tongue because they've practiced, because they've worked so hard on this that they can't help but talk about this.
People ask me how can I talk so much about men's clothing. If you know anything about me and my company, I have written hundreds of articles.
Before I ever made one video, I had written hundreds of articles, thousand-word articles on men's style. I basically wrote a couple of books, so I can talk about this stuff because I live and breathe it every day.
People love it when you smile. Before I do any of these videos, I always try to smile to myself and think of something happy. Whenever you look at a baby and a baby smiles at you, what do you do? You smile back, and when you smile, you feel good. It's a physical gesture that reminds you of a good feeling.
When you can smile to people, it makes them feel better. Now, don't give off the crazy smile in which people are wondering if you want to kill them, no. You want a sincere, genuine smile, and then get them to return the smile and move on to your point.
4. Eye contact
Look people in the eye. Now, I've already done a video on this and it depends on what culture you're in. I mean, there are cultures in which you don't want to look people in the eye too long, but in most Western business culture, looking somebody in the eye for a set amount of time instills trust.
Whenever you greet somebody, whenever you go up to a group or someone new joins the group, you want to greet them and properly introduce yourself.
Whenever you go up, if you're just someone that you stand there for five minutes and no one knows who you are and you've got four or five people talking together, you need to take the initiative well before that and introduce yourself to anyone you don't know. If you do know them, simply a nice gesture will work.
Be able to hold a good conversation, so realize that it's not all about you. In these videos, I don't have anyone else here, so it's usually a one-way street on these videos, but in normal conversation, it's a two-way street and you want to have people talk with you.
Oftentimes, people will talk about great leaders. Bill Clinton is a great example. People would talk with Bill Clinton and they felt like he really understood them. He listed to them. That's one of Bill Clinton's greatest strengths, was that he could listen to people and really form this deep connection, or so they felt.
7. Time management
Great leaders realize that their time is valuable. They go into a conversation, but they have to keep it within a certain time frame and they try to get people to get to the point.
They nudge them on the right direction and then they summarize it and they have to get out because they've got other places to be.
If you're able to do all of that, what you're going to do is you're going to instill confidence. You're going to instill trust. You're going to have a great reputation.
People are going to want to recommend you because they're doing other people a favor by recommending you to them.
You're going to be building a very strong executive presence if you take all the leadership and alpha male attitude I just talked about, put it with leadership and right there, that is about as strong as an executive presence.
I didn't really talk so much about personal presentation because guys, I've done over 200 videos about clothing and everything. I think for this executive presence, it's more than just the clothing.