How to Develop Leadership Presence

The concept of leadership presence, or executive presence, has been a buzzword in popular media for the past several years. One may define leadership presence as the ability to project self-confidence, self-assurance, and self-possession, even in situations where there is performance pressure and rigid time constraints. For example, one illustration of leadership presence is the ability to walk into a room and command the attention of the entire team, even in the face of a pressing deadline. Individuals who display leadership presence maybe primed for promotions, new leadership roles, or taking on new responsibilities within their departments.

One may ask, “How can I develop leadership presence?” It is important to note that leadership presence is not a personality trait or something that you’re born with; yet it is an ability that develops overtime with experience and practice. The three components of leadership presence are perspective, poise, and projection. Perspective refers to how you think about yourself in stressful situations. Individuals with low leadership presence tend to worry and focus on what is not in their control. Individuals with high leadership presence analyze situations and create action plans of what they can address. If you want to develop leadership presence, practice concentrating your energy of what you can control. Secondly, poise refers to how you carry yourself in high stress situations. Poise may refer to giving a firm handshake, maintaining eye contact, and the ability to maintain a calm demeanor in the face of stress. If you want to develop poise, practice walking with purpose and developing strategies for humble, positive recognition in the workplace. Finally, projection refers to how you communicate your ideas. When developing projection, it is important to be clear and decisive in communication, while considering the emotions and needs of others. When weighing in on a topic, express a clear point of view and be prepared to support your viewpoint with evidence.

Developing these skills may be one strategy to advance in your career and can impact how others perceive your contributions to the team.


How you think about yourself from the Course Developing Executive Presence. Retrieved December 14, 2015, from

Martinuzzi, B. (2014). Executive Presence: 7 Strategies to Stand Out as a Leader. Retrieved December 14, 2015, from

Improve Your Leadership Presence. (2013). Harvard Business Review. Retrieved December 14, 2015, from

Published 6th October 2016