Executive Presence: A Training and Coaching Program for Leaders

What Is this Training and Coaching Program About?

Executive Presence is a powerful training and coaching program specifically designed for leaders who need to connect authentically and communicate effectively. It is designed for those who occupy a spot in the c-suite, aspire to get there one day, or those who need to build trusted relationships with other leaders. This program is taught in professional development workshops and as part of the organizational leadership curriculum at Purdue University. The content of the program is evidence based and practice proven.

What Is “Executive Presence?”

Executive presence is the ability to project warmth, competence, and gravitas, the characteristics needed to become a “freely-followed” leader, the kind of leaders others want to follow.

Who Is the Executive Presence Program For?

The Executive Presence program has proven to provide immediate value to a variety of leaders. Here are a few examples:

  • The program is great for professionals wanting to grow in their career, especially those who aspire to occupy a spot in the c-suite.
  • Executive Presence has been used effectively as a professional development program scientists, engineers, physicians, and others who need to authentically connect with other and effectively communicate information that is often complex and difficult to explain.
  • Founders and c-suite executives have looked to this program to give them an added edge as they lead their organizations or prepare for their next career move.
  • Development professionals have improved their ability to make meaningful connections with potential donors using these insights.
  • Those in other relationship-based careers like sales, wealth management, and legal services have also benefit from this training, improving their skills for connecting authentically and communicating effectively with clients and customers.

What Will I Learn in the Executive Presence Training and Coaching Program?

As a participant in the program you will focus on four key aspects of executive presence:

  • The Executive Presence Framework – understand the four drivers that move others to enlist, subscribe, buy, join, support, or otherwise commit
  • Executive Communication – learn how to shape powerful narratives to gain the trust and confidence of others
  • Executive Connection – discover your unique ways to effectively connect with others  

What Does the Training & Coaching Program Look Like?

The program includes a training workshop and individualized coaching sessions. The training workshop includes 14 hours of interactive learning with an Executive Presence trainer. This can take place on-site over the course of two days or be done virtually, with an instructor, in four half-day sessions. A sample syllabus and agenda for a typical two-day workshop may be found here. The Executive Presence workshop is usually limited to twelve participants to allow for one-on-one coaching. The workshop is generally offered for individuals from a single organization. It is sometimes also offered as an open-enrollment event for anyone to attend.

We also offer an Introduction to Executive Presence workshop that can be done in just two hours, in-person or virtually. The number of participants for this workshop is unlimited. Learn more about that option here.

The following are some of the topics that can be covered in the workshops. The trainer, in consultation with the training sponsor, will select the most appropriate topics for the benefit of each group.


  • Projecting Confidence
  • Projecting Warmth
  • Projecting Gravitas
  • Connect, then Lead
  • Hacking the First Five Minutes
  • Creating Positive Energy
  • Guiding Conversations
  • Expressing Gratitude
  • Connecting with Kindness
  • Asking Powerful Questions


  • Finding Your Authentic Voice
  • The Shape of Stories
  • Emotion Mapping
  • Metaphors & Analogies
  • Fact. Story. Act.
  • Reinforcing Your Message with Your Face
  • Reinforcing Your Message with Your Gestures
  • Reinforcing Your Message with Your Voice

We can also design abbreviated learning experiences for groups of any size. We will work with you to determine what content and format will provide the greatest value to your team.

Who Designed and Delivers Executive Presence?

Scott Hutcheson, PhD designed and delivers Executive Presence. The program is adapted from a body of work developed by Bob Sadler. In 2018 Scott met Bob who generously shared his insights in teaching Executive Presence. Bob has now retired and has asked Scott to build on his work. Scott is the co-founder of Hutcheson Associates and serves as Chief Social Scientist. He is also professor of Organizational Leadership in the Technology Leadership and Innovation Department at Purdue University. Over the course of his 30-year career, Scott has worked with over 4,000 leaders from 147 different countries. He studied theatre as an undergraduate and had a brief career as an actor. In the late 1980’s he was asked to teach improvisation to engineers at the Tennessee Valley Authority. That experience led to a career in bringing the lessons from improv, collaboration, and storytelling to leaders across the globe. Scott is an in-demand conference speaker. His 2019 TED Talk, has been viewed more than 1.3 million times on YouTube.

What’s the ROI for Executive Presence?

“Scott and his team created a safe and engaging environment allowing so much growth in such a short period of time.” – April Chittum | Administrator at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

“I have been amazed at the level of improvement and the feedback we have gotten from participants in this program. It is such a small investment relative to the return. I highly recommend organizations consider this for both their budding and seasoned leaders.” – Kenneth Johnson, Founder, CEO, & Chief Cloud Strategist at Blue Sentry Cloud

“The Executive Presence training was a great experience for our team. They gained insights and tools they could put to work right way. I would urge every leader to consider bringing Executive Presence to their organization.” – Steve Jennings, Chief External Affairs Officer at Rady Children’s Hospital, San Diego

“The workshop was great!  Tools are taught that are helping our researchers better present their work.  I am confident that even our most experienced people learned something new that will help them be successful.” – Carrie Berger, PhD, Associate Dean for Research Purdue University

How Do I Bring Executive Presence to My Organization or Find Out About Open Enrollment?

If you are interested in bringing Executive Presence to your organization contact us using the purple button below. Those interested in attending an open-enrollment offering can find dates and registration information by clicking the green button.

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