How to Have Executive Presence When Speaking English
Showing you’re in charge. Being heard when you speak. Commanding respect from the listeners.
Sounds nice, right?
The good news is we can do all this with Executive Presence.
Today I’m teaching you how to increase your executive presence when you communicate in English.
And guess what, your English doesn’t have to be perfect in order to have executive presence.
Let’s get right to it!
Communicate in a Calm Way
Use calming tones in your voice. Lower your pitch as you speak. Avoid uptalk, which is when your intonation rises at the end as though you are asking a question. End your statements in falling intonations. That shows that you are confident about what you’re saying. A calm tone with falling intonation also establishes authority and credibility. People are more likely to believe what you say if they believe that you are being sincere and truthful. You’ll also earn their respect this way!
Say Only What You Need To
When speaking, provide enough information without providing too much. What does this mean? Answer the question in one sentence if you can. If you need two sentences, that’s fine. But try to be as clear and concise as possible. When you’re succinct and use as few words as you need to make your point, you show executive presence.
Your Body Language is Important
Someone can tell if you are confident or insecure just by looking at your body language. This includes facial expressions and hand gestures and it’s what we refer to as nonverbal communication. When you are confident you’ll stand up straight with good posture, have an open stance with your shoulders down and back, and you’ll have a slight smile on your face. If you’re standing up, keep your feet shoulder width apart and stagger your feet meaning have one foot be slightly in front of the other and don’t lock your knees, keep them slightly bent. In terms of hand gestures, you might do outwardly sweeping gestures. You can use the steeple which is when your palms are apart but your fingers touch. You can show your palms with rotating hand gestures because it shows you’re confident and have nothing to hide. When you rotate your palms to face down it shows authority and is a way of saying “let’s think about that a bit more” or “hold that thought” or “let’s sit on that for a minute.” Also, be sure to have a strong handshake. When using hand gestures, be animated without going over the top.
Be Loud without Shouting
A loud voice shows confidence. Project your voice from your diaphragm. There’s no need to shout or strain your vocal chords. Just project your voice as loudly as you can muster. This requires that your exhale is correct. Practice your exhale by breathing in for 5 seconds, holding for 5 seconds, and exhaling for a count of 10 seconds. Doubling the exhale will help you strengthen your lungs and increase your lung capacity so you can take in enough oxygen on the inhale. (Source: Breath book) And when you are able to take in more air, you’ll have a stronger exhale. That’s important because a stronger exhale allows you to speak louder without shouting. A loud voice illustrates executive presence.
It’s okay if you have an accent, if your grammar is not perfect, we’re all a work in progress. What can really be a game changer and reinforce a positive impression of you to others is executive presence. We can increase executive presence by (1) speaking in a calm way and using a calming tone of voice, (2) saying only what you need to say, being as succinct as possible, (3) using effective body language, and (4) being as loud as you can without shouting.
Practice these strategies and get comfortable with them. Executive presence doesn’t happen overnight, but overtime. So keep at it and you’ll notice that you might start implementing these strategies automatically!
Alright Advanced English learners, thanks for joining me for this lesson! Share our channel and this lesson with anyone who’d like to improve their English communication skills. I'll see you in the next one where we'll continue advancing your English together!