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How to Project Executive Level Presence with Positive Body Language

“When it comes to selling either your personal charms or professional abilities, body language talks loudest of all.”

-David Lewis, “The Secret Language of Success”


From the moment you walk in the door, step up to the podium, or sit down at a conference table, your body is busy telling people all about you. Do you want to project confidence? Do you want to command respect? Do you want to project executive level presence?

Here’s how:

  • Stand tall. Good posture instantly identifies you as a confident person with something to contribute. Stand with your shoulders and feet about four to six inches apart, while keeping your spine tall. Keep your hands down at your sides unless you are gesturing.

  • Keep your head level. A level head indicates an assured, capable person. A bowed head makes you look unsure of yourself, vulnerable, and even guilty of something

  • Position your chin properly. Keep your chin parallel to the ground. If you keep it too high, you are likely to be viewed as condescending or even aggressive. If you keep it lowered or dipped, you are more likely to be viewed as unsure of yourself or submissive.

  • Walk in a calm, purposeful way. From the moment you walk into a room with dignity and easy confidence, you are saying that you are someone who matters–to yourself and to them; and you automatically project respect.

  • Make eye contact. Eye contact should be made 40 to 60% of the time. Less than 40%  makes you appear shy or lacking in confidence. More than 60% makes you appear judgmental.

  • Use facial expressions to reinforce your interest. When you are having a conversation with another person, your facial expressions either encourage or discourage further interest and interaction.

  • Offer a firm handshake. In business in the U.S.A., the only acceptable physical touching allowed is a handshake. Your handshake broadcasts plenty about you. If you want to make a positive impression and convey confidence, firmly grasp the other person’s hand when shaking hands.

  • Use gestures to reinforce communication. If you want to appear comfortable and unguarded, your gestures need to start talking when your mouth starts moving.

  • Cultivate a pleasing, yet strong voice. Nearly 40% of the first impression you make on other people is based entirely on the sound of your voice.  Speak with optimal volume; articulate clearly; highlight your message with expression; and avoid filler words.


By: Patricia Napier-Fitzpatrick



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