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The Champion Forum Podcast

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TCFP066: DEMYSTIFYING LEADERSHIP PRESENCE

Thank you for listening to the Champion Forum Podcast with Jeff Hancher! One of the qualities many leaders are told that they need to work on is “presence.” Your leadership presence, how you are perceived and accepted by others, is founded on your attitude, your character, and how you act when no one is watching. It’s about your positive energy: being there for and helping others. It’s about being genuine and comfortable in your own skin. In this episode, we will talk about what leadership presence is and is not, and we will give you five tips for increasing your leadership presence.

Leadership presence is the ability to...

  • take command of a room

  • assume a leadership role with whoever is in the room

  • communicate in a way that is persuasive, concise, and relatable

Leadership presence is NOT about...

  • being the most talkative

  • being loud and boastful

  • being extroverted

  • having a title

Q: What else would you add to these lists? Is there anything about your personality that makes you think you cannot have a good leadership presence? How can you change your mindset and use your personality to work for you?

People with presence are listened to while leaders without it are heard. – There is a big difference between the two.

Tips to Improve Your Leadership Presence:

Adapt to Your Audience’s Energy Level

  • If your group is unengaged, you need to be able to speak energetically and lead the conversation

  • If you are working with an engaged, energized group, you need to focus more on observing and facilitating the discussion.

Q: What are some ways you think that you can tell if someone in your audience is engaged? Have you ever been in a meeting where a leader was not able to tell if the team was engaged? How did that affect your view of the leader?

Increase Your Self-Confidence

  • If you need to increase your confidence:

    • Adjust your physical posture so you're standing up straight.

    • Remember your past victories.

    • Remind yourself that you earned your seat at the table.

    • Invest in your knowledge.


  • Ask “What do I know that the room doesn’t know, but they need to know?

  • Dig deeper into the issues so that you can offer an alternative solution.

  • Come up with stories or examples that will support your point.

  • Stay composed.

Q: What makes you feel confident? How do you feel like people respond to you when you feel confident compared to when you feel unprepared or self-conscious? Have you ever worked under a leader who lacked confidence? How did that affect your team’s unity and productivity?

Don’t Read Into Things

  • Leaders with presence maintain their composure at all times.

  • Don’t let other people’s reactions immediately affect your behavior.

Q: What do you think is the difference between adjusting to your audience and not reading into every little detail of a person’s speech or body language?

Increase Your Credibility

  • Use the word “because” to explain why you need something.

  • Become an expert in your job and industry.

Use Confident Body Language

  • Maintain eye contact (about 60% of the time is good).

  • Lean in to show you are interested.

  • Practice good posture.

  • Don’t fidget.

  • Don’t touch your face or neck, which is an indication that you are anxious, nervous, or afraid.

  • Keep your arms and legs uncrossed

  • Wear appropriate clothing

Q: Of the tips above, which one do you think you struggle with the most? Which one do you notice in other leaders the most? How is your opinion of other leaders impacted by how well they apply these tips?

Application Activities:

  1. Make a list of the tips and qualities from this episode that you want to work on over the next quarter. Tell a few close friends or co-workers what you are doing and ask them to help you evaluate yourself when the quarter is over. Write down one actionable way you can work on each area and review them at least 1-2 times a week.

  2. Every leader needs to be dedicated to education and self-improvement. What are you doing right now to invest in your personal development? If you are not already, devote 15 minutes to reading or listening to an audiobook on either personal development or a topic in your industry. You will be amazed at what you can accomplish in just 15 minutes!

  3. Many leaders with good leadership presence are also good public speakers. Actively seek out an opportunity to speak to a group of your peers either at your office or at a conference. As you work on your public speaking, you will improve in your ability to lead a room of your peers in making sound business decisions as well.

Connect with Jeff

Instagram: @thechampionforum

Facebook: The Champion Forum Podcast by Jeff Hancher

Email: jeffhancher@thechampionforum.com

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