Ever wondered why some people get chosen or promoted over others despite the same level of work, preparation, or intelligence?

According to Deborah Gruenfeld of Stanford University, people make judgments about our competence within milliseconds. How do you prove yourself as competent and professional in that sliver of time?

It turns out there’s much you can control in how people experience you, even as you pass them in a hallway or stand in line for coffee. Scores of scientific studies have consistently pointed to three elements of “Executive Presence.”

3 Core Elements of Executive Presence

In short, Executive Presence hinges on three factors: StyleSubstance and Character, accounting for more than 25% of the likelihood you’ll secure a prime assignment or leadership position.

  • Style: Includes how you look, how you carry yourself, how you sit at the table, your gestures, movement, and how you sound; in essence how you say what you need or want to say.
  • Substance: Depth of your knowledge. This is your gravitas ¾ your subject matter expertise.
  • Character: Your value system on display. What values do your behaviors portray?

Ignore these, and watch your reputation erode. Cultivate them, and reap your audience’s trust and preference.

Content vs. Body Language

Your professional presence communicates your competence. Your words matter, too. Choose them wisely, and then remember that your body language must be consistent and congruent with the words coming out of your mouth if you want your message to “stick.”

Science tells us that our body language, eye contact, tone of voice, gestures, movement, and facial expressions are the real story and account for 93% of what people might remember about you and your message.

This means that even if your content is stellar, your body language may be telling us something completely different. Therefore, focusing on Executive Presence Enhancers and Detractors are just as important as preparing great content.

View our infographic below to learn about traits and behaviors that make up a compelling professional presence. Then cultivate your own.

Want a more hands-on approach? Schedule a complimentary assessment with one of our expert executive coaches today.

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