In our recent Tips, we have been focused on the topic of Executive Prescence. We are looking at four key elements that contribute to executive presence, and the fourth key element is Confidence. Having confidence impacts how we feel about ourselves and our performance, as well as how others perceive us. In this context, we are thinking about confidence in terms of a person’s degree of self-assurance based on a belief in their own abilities.
When the other three elements of executive presence come together (appearance, communication, and comportment), confidence is often the result. However, these three things are not enough. True confidence comes from knowing that we are prepared for a given situation. In the context of a business meeting, presentation, or interview, here are two keys to effective preparation:
Do Your Homework
Work to understand the following:
- Audience – who will be there, how they are connected, what they care about, their leadership and social styles, etc.
- Setting – the location of the meeting/event and the resources available.
- The context – the audience’s departmental opportunities and challenges, and their overall business direction.
- Your fit with the audience – the value you can provide in helping them achieve their critical outcomes.
Rehearse Your Message
Prepare to deliver your message expertly:
- Master the content of your message.
- Improve the effectiveness of your delivery through practice.
- Prepare any others who will attend the meeting with you (as appropriate) to make sure that everyone is on the same page.
- Anticipate and plan for unforeseen challenges that could arise.
Whether you are delivering a presentation, conducting an interview, speaking to an audience, or in a social situation with other executives, a person who has done their homework and is effective at delivering their message will exude confidence and make a powerful impression.