Unlocking Executive Presence: From Good To Great Executive Communications

by | Jan 26, 2024 | Executive Presence

In the realm of corporate communication, the journey from good to great is less about technical prowess, and more about harnessing the power of executive presence. It’s an elusive yet essential skill that underpins effective communication, enhancing credibility, and influence – and it can be learned.

This transformational journey can turn a mundane speaker into an inspiring leader but requires a nuanced understanding of how to connect with your audience, how to communicate your purpose effectively, and how to exhibit credibility and approachability. We must also learn to overcome the fear that often looms over us during presentations and replace it with emotions that empower and embolden us.

In this article, we delve into the proven techniques delivered by Paul Slattery, founder of NxtGEN, to enhance your executive presence, amplify your influence, and ascend to the pinnacle of corporate leadership.

Let’s start at the foundation—understanding your audience and identifying your purpose.


Understanding your audience: the first step to being heard


Before taking the stage, ask yourself: Who’s your audience? What do they know, and what interests them?

This process, audience analysis, is vital for impactful communication. It helps tailor your message, bridging the gap between your audience’s position and your goal. Without this understanding, presentations may fall short.


The roadmap to impactful communication: Know. Feel. ACT!


The heart of your presentation is your purpose – your goal. To resonate, clarify your message’s takeaway, the intended audience’s emotions, and desired actions. With audience insight and a clear purpose, you’re set to connect the two effectively. Succinct audience analysis and purpose are key to successful communication.


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Elevating your influence: the core role of credibility in communication


The triad of believability: verbal, vocal, and visual communication


Credibility, whether we realise it or not, has a profound impact on how believable we appear to our audiences. But what factors influence credibility? It may surprise you to know, it isn’t just the words you say.


  • Verbal communication, the actual words you say, accounts for just 7% of your perceived believability
  • Vocal communication, the way you say those words, and your tone, accounts for 38%
  • The lion’s share, a staggering 55%, is attributed to visual communication – your body language


To ace believability, you need to communicate congruently across all three domains – verbal, vocal, and visual. Inconsistencies among these can diminish your perceived credibility drastically.


Enhancing credibility: the unseen power behind your words


Unseen elements dramatically affect credibility. Weak and filler words such as “uhm“, “like“, and “but” can reduce your credibility and approachability. Eliminating these from your speech enhances credibility.

Additionally, thorough knowledge of your subject, preparation for potential questions, and diligent rehearsal are crucial. People assess your credibility from the moment you enter the room, even before you speak!


Approachability: the master key to engaging presentations


Approachability is crucial for effective presentations, alongside credibility. To connect deeply and make your message stick, being approachable is key. How do you achieve this? Try visualising joyful things—pets, memories, loved ones—before starting. This mental image boosts approachability.

Also, using open hand gestures and smiling breaks barriers, making you more relatable. Credibility and approachability are critical first impressions. Mastering both enhances your executive presence and impact.


Breaking the chains of F.E.A.R in presentations


Even with perfect preparation, approachability, and credibility, presenters often confront a universal challenge: F.E.A.R., which stands for False Evidence Appearing Real. This force can overwhelm us with anxiety and nervousness in the realm of presenting.

Yet, imagine transforming this energy into empowerment. This concept isn’t just motivational rhetoric but a neurological reality. Our brain’s neural pathways process fear and excitement in the same way. Therefore, it’s within our power to reinterpret this energy as a boost rather than a hindrance.

Rather than succumbing to fear, morph it into excitement. Use this energy to elevate your presentation’s dynamism and engage your audience more effectively. Shift from thinking “I am scared” to affirming “I am ready, and I am excited”.


Embracing L.O.V.E. during presentations


Having conquered your F.E.A.R., it’s now time to embrace L.O.V.E. in presenting. This isn’t about showcasing affection, but rather, an acronym that represents a valuable process to make presenting enjoyable, engaging, and effective.


  • Listen: Pause to meditate and centre your thoughts before presenting


  • Overlook: View failures as gateways to discovery, not setbacks


  • Value: Appreciate the chance to share and inspire


  • Encourage: Motivate yourself to persist and grow


As you step off the stage, remember, you’ve not only shared valuable insights with your audience, but you’ve also grown as a presenter and a leader.


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Ascending the pinnacle of Executive Presence


Our journey through the landscape of executive presence brings us to the conclusion: successful corporate communication is not just about what you say, but how you say it, and the presence you command while doing so.

By understanding your audience, clearly defining your purpose, cultivating credibility and approachability, overcoming F.E.A.R., and embracing L.O.V.E., you not only elevate your presentations but also your executive persona.

The transformation from a good presenter to a great one doesn’t happen overnight. It requires constant effort, practice, and a willingness to adapt and learn. But don’t be daunted by the journey ahead. Instead, cherish every step, each setback, and every triumphant moment.

As Paul Slattery, Founder of NxtGEN Executive Presence, compellingly illustrates, mastering presentation skills can transcend corporate success – it’s about unlocking your true potential, seizing opportunities, and relentlessly pursuing excellence.

Are you ready to transform your presentation skills? Start your journey to exceptional executive presence and communication now – contact us today and embark on the path to excellence!