The Six Habits of Executive Presence

A wise colleague of mine described Executive Presence as:

“The water leaders swim in to get things done. It’s not optional. It’s essential for respect and trust”.

KineticFuture are experts in coaching the ‘how’ of EP one to one and in groups. Today I’m going to share with you The 6 Practical Habits of EP. This is a distillation of the KF coaching method for your presentation communication.

6 Habits of Executive Presence in Presentation Communication

  1. It’s all about the audience – flex to their needs and perspective you’re already halfway there.
  2. Integrity & expertise – how are you going to demonstrate this?
  3. Authentic passion & belief – your topic may not set your pulse racing but you’ll have to find something that motivates you
  4. Warm authority under fire – there is a pivot point between warmth and authority. You’re looking to find the right blend for the situation and culture.
  5. Listens to understand – the audience needs to feel this is a two-way conversation and you have to truly understand what they are thinking.
  6. Tailored value messages and strong storytelling – underpinning your confidence is knowing the value you bring to the other person and being able to articulate it. Strong storytelling will build engagement and memorability.

On our courses we’ll work with you on your physicality (vocal energy, body language etc.) blended with communications strategy plus you’ll develop your story ready to present. All focused on a real work situation. Your colleagues will also coach you and you’ll learn to self-coach too.

We have worked for 19 years with demanding companies including Abbvie, The ABI, Barclays, GSK, The Open University, Novartis, Mars, MSD, Reckitt Benckiser and Vertex.

Do call or email me if you’d like to know more. Everyone can develop their Executive Presence with dedication and good coaching. And the rewards are great for you and your teams.

How Brave Are You?

Presentation style needs to match the audience. But we should all try and remember not to get stuck in just one style of presenting.

This Ted talk by comedian Jill Shargaa may be a bit too ‘bonkers’ for a corporate meeting, but it’s an exaggerated example of what makes a awesome great presentation.

Why?

  1. She has a good opening and draws her audience in straight away with her enthusiasm and passion
  2. She maintains this level of enthusiasm throughout her talk; I wanted to hear more all the way through and you can tell the audience did too
  3. She made me think (about her presenting style and about what I would personally add to my awesome list!)
  4. Her slides are visual, simple and have impact
  5. She kept things uncomplicated, with lots of repetition and her vocal energy, body language and eye contact is great

This lady is a comedian so she’s braver than most in terms of talking to an audience but we can still learn a lot from her style.

How about trying out a fun presenting style for an internal conference? Are you brave enough?!

Our presentation courses are evidence based and 80% physical practice. We blend brain science, positive psychology and advanced communications skills to help leaders become exceptional communicators.  You can work with us one to one or in groups.
Call us today to find out how we can help your leaders become exceptional communicators or check out our courses.

Watch Jill Shargaa’s Ted talk below.

 

Are Today’s Politicians Too Rehearsed?

Last week’s Channel 4 interview with Ed Miliband and David Cameron was incredibly popular (2.6 million viewers on Channel 4 and #BattleForNumber10 trending on Twitter in both the UK and worldwide) – but how did you respond to the ‘performance’?

Did you believe what they were saying? Or did they come across too rehearsed in the studio environment? Is it all just political karaoke as Russell Brand said?

What can business leaders like you learn from this first big event and apply to your own communications?

Ed Miliband

It is obvious that Ed Miliband has been thoroughly coached on what to say, right down to which words to use (fighting, passionate).  He’s certainly improved.

But the over rehearsed, stiff behaviour of both the leaders can disengage the audience and makes it hard for them to trust.  The real skill is to have strong messages and be on strategy while looking like it’s an authentic conversation.  Ironically this takes rehearsal and skilled mind management.

When questioned by Paxman he looks awkward, his pace is too fast and his voice goes into a high pitch – all of which can make him seem less in control and not really ‘tough enough’ to be our next PM.  I wonder if the strategy was to come across with passion but it just went too far.

Where he scores is on the human touch during the audience debates.  This is a real vulnerability for Cameron.  And last night’s party political broadcast with Hobbit Star Martin Freeman hit hard on values and hope for the whole country (click here to watch the video on YouTube).  So you can start to see where this is going.

David Cameron

In the big interview, Cameron certainly knows his stats and is good at responding with short, punchy statements. His upright posture and eye contact also make him look confident and believable. Even though he evaded some of Paxman’s tricky questions, he spoke most of the time with authority and decision.  He’s going for the statesman positioning. He just needs to be careful he doesn’t alienate people.

During the questions from the public he walked away from the lectern towards the audience, making him seem more approachable and trustworthy. Compare that with Ed walking backwards to ‘check in’ with the podium.  David’s stance was strong and centred, with his hands resting in front which makes him look at ease and in command. He also talks naturally about his children which does help him appear more ‘down to earth’.

Believe me, I admire both men for having the courage to do this. It’s tough.  Business leaders too need this balance of warm authority, authenticity and emotional connection every day to lead their people.  It can be learned but it takes skill to coach the skills and find an authentic and flexible style for each individual.  So keep watching and learning.

What was your verdict on the interview?  54% of viewers in a poll for the Guardian thought Cameron ‘won’ – did you?

Amy Cuddy: Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are

Body language affects how others see us, but it may also change how we see ourselves. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy shows how “power posing” – standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don’t feel confident – can affect testosterone and cortisol levels in the brain, and might even have an impact on our chances for success.