3 Components Of Executive Presence Every Leader Should Know

3 Components Of Executive Presence Every Leader Should Know

If you’re an executive or somebody in a leadership position, you have an executive presence. Your executive presence is your reputation. It’s what people think when you walk into a room, and what they say about you when you’re not in the room.


As a leader, actively maintaining your executive presence builds credibility, trust, and, ultimately, a following. It gives you a competitive advantage over other job candidates, allowing you to gain access to better career opportunities.

Every executive needs to think about their presence. But before you can effectively build a strategy to grow your executive presence and create tools that support it, you need to understand what your executive presence is. To start, here are three components of executive presence every leader should know.

1. Gravitas

Gravitas is the first component of executive presence. It’s your chosen value. It’s how you like to create value in the world, how you save or make an organization money to justify the cost of hiring you.

One of the factors of executive presence that corresponds with gravitas is your depth of knowledge. As an executive, you’ve gotten to where you are today because you’ve thought through a lot of situations. Developing gravitas happens naturally in your career as you gain more experience and climb the corporate ladder.

Some traits related to gravitas include practical knowledge, composure, confidence, resonance, and vision.

2. Communication

Executive thinks about her executive presence while communicating during a meeting

The second, and most important, component of executive presence is communication. How do you deliver on your value? Communication also includes things like your personality and your approach. These are the things that are going to convey your executive presence.

A factor of executive presence that corresponds with communication is your delivery of knowledge. After thinking through a lot of situations in your career, you’ve been able to communicate that evolution of thought. You’ve taken those experiences and learned and grown from them. This is the most important component of executive presence because for leaders with an effective executive presence, communication makes up 51% of it. In other words, the effectiveness of your executive presence depends on your delivery of knowledge.

Some traits related to communication include authenticity, constraint, integrity, concern, and humility.

3. Appearance

Executive effectively conveys his executive presence

The last component of your executive presence is your appearance. This is how your value is interpreted. It can be physical appearance (how you dress) or it can be body language like facial expressions and hand gestures.

The final factor of executive presence that corresponds with appearance is your style of delivery. As an executive, you’ve thought through a lot of situations in your career and communicated that evolution of that, and now appearance is the type of representation you choose to convey that message.

Some traits related to appearance include personal style, intentionality, inclusiveness, interactivity, and assertiveness.

As a leader in your industry, you have an executive presence. When others are assessing your executive presence (your reputation), they’re taking into account your gravitas, communication, and appearance. Understanding the three components of executive presence is the first step to building an effective executive presence strategy, one that will give you access to better career opportunities.

To learn more about how to build your executive presence, download our eBook, 4-Step Process for Creating Your Executive Presence Online, written by J.T. O’Donnell, founder and CEO of Work It Daily.

Want To Build Your Executive Presence?

Work It Daily's live executive presence training

If you’re an executive looking to advance in your career, you need to make your executive presence a priority. This includes your online executive presence. Failing to consistently contribute online in a meaningful way will put you on the fast track to being irrelevant and forgotten.

Join J.T. O’Donnell, LinkedIn Influencer and founder and CEO of Work It Daily, for this 3-hour live class designed to help you overcome these hurdles and stand out in the new normal of 2021 and beyond.

During this class, you will learn how to:

  • Assess your executive presence to determine what you should convey online
  • Make your resume, LinkedIn profile, and other professional branding tools say more by intentionally sharing less
  • Create a “content tree” to ensure you always have plenty to share online
  • Select the right types of content to share to maximize your ROI

Interested? Sign up for this live executive presence training today!

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Career, Components of executive presence, Elements of executive presence, Executive presence, Executives, Featured, Leader, leaders, Leadership, Managers