www.wellsaid.com December 2015
How's your "EP?" That's short for Executive Presence. Recent research indicates EP is a crucial requirement for landing your next big promotion. The elements of executive presence include how you look, how you speak, and how you act. They turn out to be critical elements in determining career advancement. Please enjoy and apply the tips below to optimize your career success.
Thank you for your loyal readership, and I wish you a blessed holiday season! 

Kind regards,
Executive Presence:
Optimizing How You Look, Speak, and Act
By Darlene Price, Well Said, Inc. 
" Big jobs usually go to people
who prove their ability to outgrow small ones ."
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
According to a study by the Center for Talent Innovation, a non-profit research organization in New York, executive presence (EP) is a requirement for earning a senior level position in the corporate world. Researchers surveyed 4,000 leaders in major corporations to understand the essence of executive presence. EP is a combination of three key elements: appearance, communication, and gravitas. In other words, top leadership roles are awarded to those who look, speak, and act the part.  While executive presence alone won't get you promoted, its absence will greatly impede your progress. Can a person develop executive presence? The answer is yes. Here are a few tips to get started:
Appearance. Make sure your personal appearance is professional and well groomed. This doesn't mean movie-star good looks or a buttoned-up suit. The real key, according to the survey, is to avoid major mistakes. For example, those surveyed said unkempt clothing and poor grooming are detrimental to men and women's executive presence. In addition, for women, clothing that is too tight, provocative, or revealing significantly undermines credibility and detracts from a professional image. For more tips on how clothing impacts career success, please read this previous newsletter article: http://conta.cc/1lMqOTR 
Communication. Master the ability to speak Clearly, Concisely, and Credibly. These Three Cs of Executive Communication are highly prized qualities among senior leaders who have limited time, short attention spans, and critical issues to solve. In fact, the majority of executives surveyed believe 'great speaking skills' is a key differentiator between those who land top promotions and those who don't. That's why the global management consultants at McKinsey and Company in the book The McKinsey Mind assert, "Presentation is the killer skill we take into the real world. It gives us an almost unfair advantage."  When someone with executive presence speaks, others listen, take note, and are usually influenced. The substance of their message is logical and lucid, well structured and succinct, while their delivery style conveys confident body language and authoritative vocal qualities. In addition, they're able to read an audience and adapt their message and style appropriately.  Read more about the Three Cs of Executive Communication here: http://conta.cc/1MfjVzq 
Gravitas. Exude self-confidence, composure, and control (even when you may not feel it inside). The Latin word gravitas is an ancient Roman virtue, which may be translated as dignity, influence, and weightiness--it connotes a certain substance and depth of personality and reputable character. According to leaders in the survey, gravitas is a combination of displaying 'grace under fire,' acting decisively, showing integrity, demonstrating emotional intelligence, and projecting vision.  Just as gravity is a force that attracts a body toward the earth, a leader with gravitas is able to draw people to him or her, clearly and confidently communicate their vision, and accelerate appropriate action.  To add more gravitas to your next talk, learn six tips for communicating your vision in this previous article: http://conta.cc/1SZLKkQ 
In closing, consider recruiting an EP mentor at work--someone whose executive presence you admire. Ideally he or she is a higher-up to whom you do not report directly. Your mentor can be a big help in telling you exactly where you need to polish the skills that add up to executive presence.
In addition, I encourage you to read my book, which was written for the sole purpose of helping business professionals develop executive presence and master the ability to communicate with clarity, conciseness, and credibility:
Well Said! Presentations and Conversations That Get Results (available in Hardcover, Kindle, and Audio). 
Feel free to contact me directly to schedule an in-house corporate training event for your team. I would be honored to support your development of executive presence. 
Quick Links
Read Darlene's new book, 
Well Said! Presentations and Conversations That Get Results.
Ranked in the
"Top 30 Business Books for 2013"
by Soundview Executive Book Summaries  
Well Said! Presentations and Conversations That Get Results is now available in Chinese!