How to Develop Executive Presence and Lead with Confidence

Think back to a recent meeting, was there someone in the room that seemed to attract and engage everyone around the table? They had the ability to walk into the boardroom, command attention, and leave everyone wanting more.

In business, this is called executive presence or leadership presence. While it may seem like that person was born with it, it’s probably something that they’ve worked very hard to achieve.

What is executive presence (or leadership presence)?

In its simplest terms, executive presence is about your ability to inspire confidence. You’ve become the leader your team want to follow. You inspire confidence among colleagues as well as senior leaders that you have the potential for great achievements.

Why is it important?

Your executive presence determines whether you gain access to opportunity. Are you working towards an important opportunity, a promotion to a critical role or an assignment to a high-visibility project?

The opportunities you gain access to will depend on the confidence you’ve inspired in decision makers and stakeholders.

How do I develop it?

Executive presence is a combination of personal traits and outward behaviours that create an image of leadership competence and trustworthiness.

Your mindset

Your mindset helps you cultivate presence. A large part of how you come across to others is driven by your personal belief in your abilities.

First impressions and appearance

You already know that first impressions are important. Your presentation (physical stature, clothing, personal hygiene) and verbal communication skills send an important message to your audience.


A respectful demeanour and genuine authenticity are essential in establishing and maintaining the impressions that will become the foundation of effective leadership.

Authenticity comes from your ability to recognise your emotions and manage them. Your ability to remain composed in conflict and high-tension situations.


It’s not just what you say, but how you say it. Voice, stance and expression all affect what people hear and remember. You know your stuff so work on the impact you want to make.

Making an impact with your voice isn’t all about being loud and it doesn’t need to be about having a big personality. Make your voice count; slow it all down, lower your voice and don’t be afraid of silence.

What’s next?

Executive presence is an important skill to work on, whether you’re already a leader or not. So, before you head to that next big meeting, take a look at our upcoming training course ‘Projecting Powerful Leadership Presence’ and begin to develop your own executive presence.

A person with good executive presence never lets people see them sweat. They’re not seen rushing from meeting to meeting (even if they are) and they’re not flustered when they speak.

Take a quick second to compose yourself. Take a deep breath, and slow down. Be calm, collected, and the person with all the answers, and you’ll be seen as a leader.

Want to find out more?

If you would like to discuss any of the details you have read in this blog; including our ‘Projecting Powerful Leadership Presence’ training course, please email us on

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Can’t make the date?

We can run this course for you In-House, at your organisation or a venue of your choice, on a date to suit you. Bringing your team together for a group training event is a great team building exercise, and we work closely with you to develop a bespoke training agenda that is completely tailored to your organisation’s requirements.

Contact our In-House training team on or call 0800 542 9414 to find out more.