Executive Presence Video Worksheet

Executive Presence Video Series, February 2015

Talking Points Worksheet

WAC founder Deborah Goldstein appeared in a series of educational videos, presenting to the viewer the full range of components that add up to Executive Presence for the business professional. Take a step-by-step tour and discover the personal attributes you can acquire and emanate. Achieve an optimum level of communication with others in business, commanding their respect and prompting them to admire you as a person of leadership. Learn valuable tips in these videos to enhance your appearance and demeanor to become more distinguished in your career, propelling you from the job you currently hold to the position you desire.

How to Adapt This Worksheet:

-Ponder the big picture questions, and jot down some notes. This exercise will help you zero in on how to best use your networking time.

-Link to the TedTalks, and acquire the books mentioned during the interview.

-Time markers listed after the segment titles are for quick reference video searching on that specific subject matter.

An Executive Presence Overview (01:00)

-What does Executive Presence mean to you? Write down the first 5 words that come to mind when you see someone exuding executive presence.

The Three Signs of Executive Presence (01:50)

-The Center for Talent Innovation did a study with 200 high level managers, who couldn’t define EP. They did, however, agree on 3 qualities or aspects of a person with EP:

1. Gravitas: confidence, the ability to think quickly on your feet, decisiveness

2. Communication: toward others, reading others to know how you’re received, being in tune with the people who are listening to you

3. Appearance: not just your clothing, but your posture, body language, and demeanor

Exploring Appearance (02:44)


-Appearance starts with your 1st impression. What assumptions do you make when looking at the picture to the left?

Some Interesting First Impression Facts:

-It takes between a split second and 17 seconds to MAKE a first impression. How long does it take to REVERSE a bad first impression? The answer will astonish you!

-Adjusting Your Mindset: Our subconscious is fighting to prove us right about the first impression, thus it sticks. The goal now becomes to always make a great first impression.

-Ask Yourself: What’s the first thing you notice when you see someone for the very first time?

Exploring Posture (06:12)

-An Important Fact: Good posture is your overlooked secret weapon. Think of some benefits to good posture, and some drawbacks to poor posture.

-Your mind can trick your body, yet your body can trick your mind. When you stand tall and proud, like in a Wonder Woman pose, it actually raises your testosterone.

-Ask yourself this posture-related question: What’s the worst activity you can engage in before an important meeting?

Exploring Attire (08:06)

-Is it more beneficial to dress for the job you have, or for the job you want?

-Warning: Business casual and business formal dress can both adhere to the rules, but they don’t guarantee you won’t look sloppy.

Two Insider’s Tips:

-Tailored clothing seldom looks sloppy.

-You should feel comfortable in your attire. Your clothes should not feel like a costume.

-Food For Thought: Guess what the #1 complaint of HR professionals about attire is?

On Spoken Words (10:46)

wpid-7-38-55-Rule-The spoken word has less of an impact on your communication than you think. Words only account for 7% of how you are perceived. Tone of voice and accompanying body language are the most important factors.

Exploring Body Language (11:06)

-55% of how you are perceived relates to your body language

-Ask Yourself: If your head is supposed to be level with the ground when you’re speaking to someone, how should it be when you’re listening?

-Ask Yourself: Is it better to use extroverted hand gestures when you speak, or to keep your hands near your pockets?

-If your feet are pointed straight ahead during your conversation, what message are you sending to the other person? How about when your feet are pointed in different directions? Or when you shift your weight frequently?

Exploring Tone of Voice (13:31)

-There are as many as 7 components to your tone of voice: Volume, pacing, intensity, pause, timbre, inflection and rhythm. Women tend to be challenged in several of these aspects of tone.

On Pacing

-Be Aware: When we are nervous, we tend to speed up our vocal pace, giving ourselves away.

On Intensity

-From where in your body should your physical voice originate?

-Exercise: Put your hand on your chest and hum. Do you feel a vibration?

-Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is: One study showed that people who speak from the chest vs the throat earn significantly more money.

On Inflection

-Do you use upspeak? If you do, it makes you sound unsure of what you’re saying and strips you of your power, despite how socially acceptable it has become.

Exploring Actual Words (16:05)

-Despite the 7% rule about spoken words, they remain crucial to how you’re perceived. Be mindful to avoid words that detract from your credibility. Common phrases like “I Think” and “I Guess” convey truths about your intentions that you might not want to realize. If you use these phrases, in speech or in email, you’re sabotaging your own power.

-Exercise: Take a moment to write down the words and phrases you hear that detract from other people’s credibility? Believe me when I tell you, if you think about it, you’ll come up with many.

-Ask Yourself: In what way can apologies work against you?

-Ask Yourself: How can you use words to slip into the role of a trusted advisor?

On Active Listening (20:40)

-“You have two ears and one mouth”. “You can’t learn with your mouth running”. These are some old sayings that express how important active listening is, particularly in business.

-After we’re in a face-to-face discussion with someone, studies show that we only recall half of what we’d heard. 48 hours later, we can only recall half of that half. This means that after an engrossed, one-on-one discussion where active listening is employed, only a quarter of what was heard is retained. Phone calls and webinars fare even worse. If we weren’t actively listening, we might have come away with almost no information. Ask Yourself: What is a good way to increase that 25% retention rate after a conversation?

-Active listening is listening without bias. You’re listening for facts without interpreting those facts. You’re listening for information.

-Ask Yourself: What are some other active listening techniques that also come across as communicative?

-Ask Yourself: What is one active listening faux pas that men are guilty of more often than women?

On Presentation Skills (23:32)

-Whenever you’re not talking to yourself in the mirror, you’re presenting. It may be to one individual, or to a group of 150 in a lecture hall, or to an unseen audience on a webinar. It’s all presenting.

-Food for Thought: Four areas to be mindful of NOW are good posture, elimination of filler words, proper eye contact, and control of your emotions.

-Perpetually practice your presentation skills, including on your friends, your spouse, the coffee shop clerk, and even your pets.

The Play (25:26)

-The Play is an analogy that I credit to Professor Deborah Gruenfeld. As you become more involved in leadership, you’ll have to play different “positions”. You’ll play high and play low accordingly. Deborah Gruenfeld’s full video can be seen HERE.

Playing it High:

-If you are in a position of authority, reinforcing the fact that you are in charge, that’s when you play it high. Exercise: Write down some ways in which this can be accomplished.

Playing it Low:

– If you’re courting a client, or maybe reaching out to your team, you’ll want to seem approachable. You need to express hospitality by playing it low. Exercise: Write down some ways in which this can be accomplished.

It’s All About Empathy (27:40)

-EP requires empathy on all levels, not just to be polite or conventional, but to truly be able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. You’ll want to understand where someone is coming from, what their concerns are, and what their values are. Connect with them on their terms.

-As leaders, we are mandated to connect with others, and empathy is the connector. This will motivate others to respond to our company and our brand, leading to our own success.