Leadership presence is an essential quality for professional success that can be difficult to articulate, but you know it when you see it. Having a strong leadership presence means that you can command a room, share your thoughts with confidence and influence others. Presence results in making those around you feel at ease, heard, and inspired to take action. Thankfully, leadership presence isn’t a trait that you either have or don’t have – it’s a set of skills that can be learned. If you’re ready to elevate your leadership presence, we have 3 simple exercises to help get you started.
1. Record yourself speaking or presentingThe next time you are preparing for a speaking engagement, record yourself rehearsing your presentation. Watching your recorded presentation allows you to see yourself as your audience sees you and gives you an opportunity to pick up on what’s enhancing and detracting from your presence. Watch your recorded presentation and ask yourself:
– Does my posture convey authority? – Are there non-verbal tics that are distracting others from paying attention to my message such as swaying back and forth, tapping my foot, or fidgeting with jewelry? – Is the tone of my voice firm and confident or tentative and soft? Am I over-using filler words such as “um”, “okay”, or “right”? – Is my message being communicated in a way that is clear, concise, and impactful? Does it effectively speak to and connect with my audience?
2. Channel your inner OprahThe next time you’re feeling anxious about an upcoming business obligation and need some guidance and inspiration, choose a woman role model whose presence you admire, then ask yourself:
– How does she show up and interact? – What would she say? – How she would handle the interaction I’m dreading? While it’s important to be true to who you are and own your unique value, channeling the leadership qualities of those you admire is a great way to make it through tough moments and enhance your presence.
3. Nurture Your RelationshipsHaving a strong network of people who know that they can rely on you and trust your judgment is a crucial component of your leadership presence. Put a reminder on your calendar to reach out to at least one person each day and ask how they’re doing, offer them assistance, share a helpful resource, or set up a coffee meeting. You may be surprised by the opportunities that this opens up for you! Our signature women’s leadership development program, HNS Accelerate, focuses heavily on helping our participants develop and strengthen their leadership presence through in-person and virtual training, one-on-one executive coaching, and peer support. You can more about how HNS can support you in unleashing your leadership potential here.
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