Introduction to Executive Presence

OBJECTIVES AND APPROACH. This Introduction to Executive Presence workshop is designed to give you an introduction to some tools and frameworks you can use to significantly enhance your presence as a leader. We believe the definition of “leader” is a freely-followed person; someone who would be followed even if they had no formal authority. An individual’s presence is key to that kind of leadership. We want you to be able to “own the room” when you need to and to create spaces for connection, communication, and collaboration to further the goals you and others need to accomplish together. We want you to be able to connect authentically with others, to communicate clearly with others, and to co-create shared value with others. Our aim is to help you further develop your skills to be a warm, self-confident, competent, grounded, and decisive leader; the kind of leader others will follow.

We’ll unbundle and share with you some of the critical success factors related to voice, gesture, posture, expression, story, status and…silence. We’ll demonstrate how they all work together to make positive and compelling connections with those around you.  

We’ll give you a safe place to practice and positive and constructive feedback and coaching. This is not a time for you to try to be “perfect.” Instead, it is a time to see and consider what you are doing now and try on a few strategies and techniques that may be more effective than what has become your norm. We are certain you will walk away with some immediate improvements. You will have new awareness and practical tools to help you improve as you adopt techniques over time. Authentic and effective executive presence takes time and experimentation. This introductory workshop will give you some concentrated time and opportunity to experiment! 

WHAT WE WE WILL ASK OF YOU. As a participant, we will ask you to do a couple of things ahead of our workshop. First, we need an example of your current style. We’d like you to come to the workshop prepared with an interaction that is about one minute long. It could be an interaction with one person, several people, or a fairly large audience. It could be an “elevator pitch” or piece of important information you need to deliver. In most cases it is helpful if the purpose of your interaction is to prompt someone to consider enlisting, supporting, or buying into a different way of doing something or taking action. It should be an interaction that is useful for your work. It’s only one minute, so we would like you to talk without notes or slides.  

Here are some examples of interactions others have brought into the workshop.

  • One participant simulated a discussion with an employee who thought he was surely going to win a promotion, but needed to be told he would not get promoted.
  • Another simulated a pitch to a funder, making the case for an investment.
  • One person simulated part of a testimony before a legislative committee.
  • Another wanted to practice a scenario in which they were breaking difficult news that a project was cancelled and that some layoffs would start soon. 

Last, we need your undivided attention during our time together. You will be demonstrating your interaction to a fellow workshop participants, Some will be asked to demonstrate theirs for the whole group. We will ask your fellow workshop participants to simulate your audience…the types, the characters…the reactions you might get in real life. They will also be asked for constructive ideas on how the interaction could be more effective. So, you will be very engaged either as a presenter, audience member, or advisor throughout our short time together. As a result, there will be no opportunity for multi-tasking. We ask that all participants detach from their electronic devices except at our break or for emergencies.

WORKSHOP FORMAT. The two-hour workshop can be delivered in person or via Zoom. We suggest a minimum of 10 people. Their workshop can also accommodate much larger groups. We’ve successfully done the workshop with as many as 75 people. We’ll cover the following topics:

  • What is Executive Presence?
  • The Executive Presence Framework
  • Connecting Authentically
  • Communicating Clearly

You can find a sample agenda here. Attendance also receive both hardcopy and digital reference materials and templates.

ABOUT YOUR WORKSHOP LEADER. Your workshop leader will be Scott Hutcheson, PhD. Scott is founder and Chief Social Scientist at Hutcheson Associates. He is also a professor of organization leadership at Purdue University. He teaches graduate and undergraduate courses, including one that includes the content of this workshop. Through Hutcheson Associates, Scott has trained and coached over 4,000 leaders from 143 different countries. His efforts to develop his own “executive presence” continues to be a work-in-progress. He recently started doing stand-up comedy to improve his delivery and timing and he’ll be a featured storyteller at the upcoming Listen To Your Mother event. Scott studied theatre as an undergrad and worked briefly as a professional actor before settling into his career as a leadership development professor, trainer, and coach. Scott leads workshops and gives keynotes all over the world. His TEDx Talk on the science of prospection has received over 1.3 million views on YouTube.

INTERESTED? Connect with us if you’d like to talk about how to bring this workshop to your organization.

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