I had fun last Wednesday with the ladies from Oxford Athena presenting on “Executive Presence”. The Regional Director, Penny Stephens had generously given me 15 minutes – 5 minutes more than usual.
The first thing I asked to open up – and arrest attention was,”What are you doing here?” I gave the ladies time to think about it whilst I went into my ‘earn the right’ content indicating my experience and client history. Then back to the question…….
Your purpose in being present will come though in every movement, every gesture and in every tone of your voice. Your intention is all.
So think about your intention in one word. And then invest that word with light, energy and magic. This will also shine out from you when you enter a room. The more energy you invest in being present, the more that energy will radiate from you and attract attention and interest.
So what qualities does someone have when they have executive presence? Charisma? Magnetism? Passion? Inspirational?
Who are you thinking of who has presence? When I was at drama school, there were plenty of actors who made a play to attract attention. Though very few had genuine presence. And they were often the ones you wouldn’t have noticed in daily life.
I was lucky enough to be at Central School where Judy Dench trained. I came across her out walking on a Saturday in the 1970s in Hampstead High Street pushing a pushchair with her husband Michael Williams. It was a happy family scene. And unless I had known her work, I wouldn’t have picked her out from the crowd. On stage or in a film, she is electrifying from the moment she comes on to the moment she leaves the stage.
Marilyn Monroe was out walking with a friend one day in Hollywood. OK, she had sunglasses on. However she was unnoticed until she turned to her friend and said,” Do you want to see her?” Whereupon, it was as though a lightbulb was switched on inside her and she lit the street. Suddenly swarms of people gathered in crowds around her, magnetised by her presence.
The first element to executive presence as I said, is intention. To switch on the light inside you, you need to know what you are doing there and invest that thought with energy and light.