Being a stand out leader requires more than just knowing how to do your job – it takes extra charisma, energy, gravitas and presence.   

Is executive presence the key to great leadership?

The further along you go in your career, the more important this kind of presence becomes. A study by the Centre for Talent Innovation suggests that executive presence counts for 26% of what it takes to get ahead in today’s global marketplace. Leaders with executive presence have lasting impact as well as the ability to engage and inspire.

Can you learn executive presence?

Many people think that you either have it or you don’t – but this is simply not true. It’s likely you already have what it takes to demonstrate you can learn executive presence but you just need to know how to access and best use these traits.

The three pillars of executive presence

Understanding what executive presence is made up of is the first step to being able to achieve it. Leadership coach Suzanne Bates, suggests it is built on three pillars: Style, Substance, and Character:

  1. Style is the how of communication with executive presence. The sound of your voice, the tone and volume. It’s also body language, posture, gestures and eye contact. It’s what you do to physically convey your ideas.
  1. Substance is made up of the facts, ideas, and experiences you choose to share. It’s the ability to connect with people and ideas beyond the surface. It’s social and emotional intelligence. It’s the way you treat people.
  1. Character is made up of values, traits, beliefs, and innate talents. These are a person’s internal motivators. They energise and make work and life meaningful. They are the foundation of substance and style.

An authentic presence relies equally on all three pillars. If a person takes actions that don’t align with their values, character suffers. If they communicate in a way that’s hard to understand, their substance suffers.

Executive presence training

Our Executive Presence training  will take you through each of the Three Pillars in detail and will offer simple tips, tools, and strategies to strengthen each pillar. Working to improve your presence will result in improved professional reputation and will help you shape the future of your career. For more on this, take a look at our comprehensive guide to leadership skills.

If you would like to know more about our training or would like help putting together a training plan to get the right mix of online and offline training for your leaders feel free to get in touch using the enquiry form or using the contact details provided.

Phone icon

Speak to us


0800 389 2639

New York

+1 718 421 0200

Hong Kong

+852 6025 1101
Gender inequality at work
Email Icon

Email us

Get in touch with our dedicated team to discuss what we can do for you.