• The concept of presence is nebulous for most people. They know it when they see it in others but are unsure of how to get it themselves.
  • This article dispels myths about presence. It shines a light on what presence actually is and how it can be cultivated.  I’ll show you why and how anyone, regardless of personality type, can strengthen their presence. It works for introverts as well as extroverts; it works without regard to position or level of power.
  • And best of all, it has nothing to do with becoming someone you’re not; rather, it’s about being more of who you already are. how to do it in a way that feels natural and authentic to you.
MYTH 1: Either you have it or you don’t have it. As if we are born with Executive presence, and we can’t develop it.

FACT: Anyone can have Executive presence if they are willing to do the work.

It can easily seem like everyone is a gifted speaker when you watch TED talks or compare yourself to skilled co-workers giving presentations.

Executive presence is not necessarily something you are born with. Anyone can learn these skills, habits, and traits. It’s actually something you can learn, cultivate and hone.

Executive presence is a learned skill that improves with practice and feedback. It’s a set of skills anyone can develop, not just certain lucky people.

Too often, some people have been perceived as “Born leaders”, but in reality there are no exclusivity or domain rights to it. These are not sufficient reasons to dismiss your aspirations to have better leadership presence.

Myth 2: One Size Fits all or the concept of Canned Presence when there’s a specific way you need to follow to build or enhance presence

FACT: No two individuals will have the same Executive Presence. Your choices and talents, personality and temperament, competencies and expertise, experiences and vision make your presence unique.

This is not a one size fit-all, or even a one size fits-most scenario. No two individuals will have the same Executive Presence.

Executive Presence is not just about improving your executive presence on the surface. It’s about taking it deeper and accelerating your search to find your authentic voice with the help of concrete tools and framework. Such a voice is genuine, real, unique and original. It’s a true reflection of the person you are.

The key questions to ponder are:

  • What makes you unique or your brand unique?
  • Are you ready to embrace your uniqueness and use your unique story to leverage presence?
Myth 3: Once you got Executive Presence, it will stay with you forever

FACT: There’s nothing like a Static Presence. It is not a permanent, transcendent mode of being. It comes and goes. It is a moment-to-moment phenomenon.

It is easy to think that after putting in the effort to craft one’s Executive Presence, it is then set, once and for all. Executive Presence is a sequence of your own personal steps you learn to both identify and practice.

To a lot of us, they’re elusive, abstract and idealistic. Instead, let’s focus on moments—achieving a state of psychological presence that lasts just long enough to get us through our most challenging, high-stakes situations, such as job interviews, difficult conversations, sales pitches,  public speeches, performances, and more.

Your Executive Presence of yesterday may not satisfy the social interaction you find yourself in tomorrow.

Realistically, think of your Executive Presence as a fluid set of skills which you will resource to respond to environments and social interactions overtime.

Myth 4: You can get away without having Executive Presence

FACT: Executive Presence will enable you to become and present your best self, so that you advance in your career and business, and accelerate their pace of growth.

Not being able to come across as a leader is a sure way to create a bottleneck for your career and business. Nothing can fast track your career and scale up your business than a powerful presence.

Whether you want to land a new job, succeed in your current role, secure a promotion, or change career paths, having executive presence is essential

The number one thing that will set you apart from your competition is your Executive Presence. The highest paid business leaders, speakers, trainers, coaches and authors in the world have one thing in common – presence.

If you want to step up in your career or business, you must invest your time and energy in building executive presence

MYTH 5: Massive inner transformation is required to access the state of presence. 

FACT: We don’t need to embark on a grand spiritual quest or complete an inner transformation to harness the power of presence. Instead, we need to nudge ourselves, moment by moment, by altering our behavior, and mind-set in our day-to-day lives. You don’t need to embark on a long pilgrimage or work on a complete inner transformation. There’s nothing wrong with these things. But they’re daunting; they’re “big.”

Through self-nudges, small tweaks in our body language and attitude, we can self-induce presence. To some extent, this is about allowing your body to lead your mind.

Inspiration cannot be performed. This kind of presence comes through incremental change.

MYTH 6: Presence means projecting yourself as a very competent and confident person. 

FACT 6: Presence isn’t about pretending to be competent. Presence is not bragging. Presence is not all or nothing.

Most often I hear it referred to as showmanship, or having the commanding presence of a titan of industry. In fact, executive presence doesn’t necessarily translate into being a fantastic presenter or showman, though that may be a powerful by-product. And it’s not exuding unabashed confidence regardless of the circumstances.

Having executive presence is not about projection, but an authentic expression of your inner, best self. Achieving executive presence requires us to be attuned to our truest feelings, beliefs, abilities, and values.

Executive presence is more than just a great suit, polished shoes and strong handshake. It is about making the most of your skills, talents and wisdom to add value to every time you communicate or collaborate.

Presence can’t be performed. It’s an audience response to authenticity, courage, selfless work, and genuine wisdom. Bring those qualities to your interactions, and you may be amazed at what happens.

MYTH 7: Presence enables you to control people, things and situations

FACT 7: Power Presence is a tool of persuasion, not coercion. It’s not about dominating others or enforcing your viewpoint on others.

If you try to force your ideas on others against their wishes, they’ll turn against you before long. Instead, it pays to be realistic with people and go out of your way to

It’s not about undervaluing the value, input, recommendations and ideas of others. When you are dominating the conversation, you aren’t listening effectively, and this diminishes executive presence.

The feeling that arises from personal power is not the desire to have control; it’s the effortless feeling of being in control—lucid, calm, and not dependent on/swayed by the behavior of others.

MYTH 8 : Executive Presence is only for extroverts.

FACT: It works for introverts as well as extroverts; it works without regard to position or level of power.

Anyone can build executive presence including introverts. You don’t need to change your personality to develop leadership presence. You just need to learn a few skills.

You can project executive presence—not by getting louder or by ramping up your energy, but by being stronger authentically. You can build executive presence without changing your core or natural preference for minimally stimulating environments.

There is certainly a path to executive presence for the introverted person. You need to be willing to explore that and exercise executive presence as you would with any other muscle.

MYTH 9: Executive Presence requires to change yourself and become a specific type of person

FACT: It has nothing to do with becoming someone you’re not; rather, it’s about being more of who you already are.

Developing your Executive Presence is not about taking on a whole new you; it’s about mining the latent capability you already have for being your best. Infact you can learn how to do it in a way that feels natural and authentic to you.

You can easily build a powerful presence that’s unique to you, and that serves you well in the long run.

Myth 10: Executive presence is about being particular about every aspect of you and your impression.

Fact: Executive presence is not about you. Instead, it is about how those you are presenting before or working with experience you.

By building executive presence, you accept yourself the way you are, and rise above other’s approval. You make a shift from being self-centred to others centred.

Executive Presence is about bestowing awareness and attention on others. Once you get rid of the emotional clutter of worrying how you’re coming across, or feeling to take the spotlight, this should come pretty naturally.


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