Cultivating an Executive Appearance

Owning the room isn’t about being the smartest, the loudest, or the most experienced. It’s about demanding respect, inspiring trust, and creating a presence that is unforgettable.

In navigating the intricate dance of confident communication and leadership, there’s a powerful tool that many often overlook: our appearance. It’s not just about looking good; it’s about projecting the kind of confidence, intelligence, and leadership that can command a room. Our physical presentation tells a story before we even utter a word, and with the right tools, you can ensure it’s the story you want to tell.

Let’s dive into the art of showcasing an executive appearance and why “how you look” isn’t just skin deep.

1- Your Body Language – Exhibit Charisma Cues: Your body speaks volumes. The way you carry yourself, your posture, the gestures you make – these are your charisma cues. Consider the poise of leaders like Oprah Winfrey or Indra Nooyi; their presence is immediately felt when they enter a room. But this isn’t magic; it’s learned body language. So, what type of cues communicate charisma? 

Here are three you can get started with:

  • Open body: strong stance, shoulders back, head high as though you are wearing a crown. 
  • Genuine smile 
  • Open hand gestures 

Exercise: I want you to try something. Stand up. Now, imagine there’s a string pulling you up from the top of your head, making you stand tall and confident. Place your feet shoulder-width apart. Feel the ground beneath you. This stance not only grounds you but projects stability and confidence.

2- Facial Expression – The Greatest Thing That Undermines Your Expressions: A smile can light up a room, but a misplaced smirk can cast a shadow. Our face is a canvas of emotions, reflecting our thoughts and feelings. However, unintentional facial expressions can sometimes betray us, sending mixed or incorrect signals. So, how can we make sure our facial expressions elevate our message?

Here are three things to pay attention to:

  • Eye contact: Look people in the eye, it creates trust 
  • Tilting your head: it shows you are paying attention 
  • Nodding at times: it shows engagement 

Exercise: Spend a day being hyper-aware of your facial expressions. Maybe even sneak a peek at yourself during a video call. Notice any habits? Do you furrow your brows when deep in thought, possibly appearing angry or confused when you’re merely concentrating? Pay attention. Change starts with awareness.

3- Appearance – Dress for How You Want to Be Addressed: The adage “don’t judge a book by its cover” is admirable in theory, but in practice, especially in the business world, appearance matters. The way we dress sends a message about how we view ourselves and how we want others to view us. In psychology there’s a term called “enclothed cognition”. Which means, how we dress affects our mindset and performance. Dress not to impress others but to impress yourself!

Exercise: Look at your wardrobe. Select two outfits – one that makes you feel unstoppable and one you’re unsure about. Ask yourself, why does one outfit give you confidence and the other hesitation? Remember, it’s not about the price tag but about how it makes you feel.

In the end, when you’re channeling your inner Queen, remember that genuine confidence is your best accessory. It’s not just about what you wear, but how you wear it — with conviction, charisma, and a touch of sass. Because the most unforgettable impressions aren’t just seen; they’re felt. 


3 more ways I can help you:

  • The Speaking Made Simple Academy [Online Membership]: The place for innovative leading women ready to become highly-skilled and confident communicators so they can grow their reputation, reach, and revenue. Get instant access.
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August 20, 2023


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