Guide to Executive Presence Coaching for Foreign-Born Executives & Non-Native Speakers of American English:
What is Executive Presence? (EP)
At its core, executive presence is your ability to “show up” and inspire confidence in others, especially those who see you as their leader or part of their leadership team. Those who exude “presence” are viewed by others as trustworthy, capable and visionary, able to articulate their ideas with ease in ways that motivate, focus, and provide clear direction to their audiences, made up of colleagues, direct reports, customers, and the public at large.
What are the specific components of Executive Presence? (EP)
Presence is viewed to have 3 primary components:
Appearance: How you appear to others; physically as well as emotionally, how others feel towards you when you engage with them. Do you look the part? Do you act the part? Is your appearance consistently professional? Do you “walk the walk and talk the talk”? Do people “see” you as their leader? Do you project an image they can embrace?
Communication: When you interact with others, how do you “sound”? Is your messaging clear? Is it inspiring? Respectful? Powerful? Is your speech impeccable? Do you use appropriate vocabulary? Do you “get to the point”? Is your voice strong, positive, pleasant, loud when it needs to be, assuring when it needs to be, intentional and controllable by you rather than random and unpredictable? Do others enjoy listening to you and come away with a positive opinion of you and what you can do for the company and for them? Do you speak with confidence and excel in front of audiences? Can you speak with little preparation, consistently, getting to the heart of matters in minutes?
Gravitas: Harder to define, but integral to having presence, is the ability to give the impression that you are on solid ground, sure of yourself and confident that others have what it takes to do what needs to be done. Qualities of projecting gravitas include: consistency, fortitude, steadiness, persistence, authority, knowledge, dignity, strength, compassion, drive, polish, political savvy, and charisma.
How does one acquire Executive Presence? (EP)
Some people seem to naturally exhibit presence. It’s that person that walks into the room, and suddenly everyone turns in her direction, hoping to catch a few words of wisdom or a look of confidence. It’s the speech everyone listens to without looking at their smart devices, so glued to the speaker, they don’t want to miss a thing. It’s the leader you are so inspired by, you gladly start work in the morning, confident she is leading you in the right direction.
The challenge is that not every leader comes by this quality naturally. Some people have experience, education, and tenure, and prove themselves over and over again, yet they don’t inspire others to listen when they speak. They may have great ideas, work hard, and have the best intentions, but still, people don’t trust them implicitly.
The mistake people make is thinking that if someone tells a person who is struggling with presence to just do certain things, they will magically develop presence. This is typically not the case. Just knowing that others don’t trust you, don’t enjoy listening to you, or that you can’t keep their attention is a criticism that may be true, but leaves the receiver of this feedback with little to go on to improve.
Instead, executive presence is best acquired by learning what it takes to project confidence, inspire others, and lead with integrity and tenacity. It requires the learner to “dig deep”, taking a close look at how others see him and asking “is this really how I ‘show up’?” and “What am I doing to cause people to see me this way?” Once a person gets a sense of what areas are his strengths and his weaknesses, he can begin to formulate a plan to address his shortcomings and build on his strengths.
What is Executive Presence Training? (EPT)
Leadership training in general is preparation to be the driving force in your team(s) or target audience’s performance. Executive Presence Training is about developing the skills to improve in the areas listed above (appearance, communication, and gravitas). Specially, EPT is formalized way of addressing the underlying skills and patterns that make up how others see their leaders and experience them in their work. It’s about quantifying the skills required and assessing what skills prospective and current leaders already have and what skills they need to gain to be successful, such as driving performance, managing teams, hiring qualified talent, motivating and empowering them, and lighting the way with clarity and vision. While most leadership candidates have skills in these areas, they may be lacking in the three delivery methods: appearance, communication & gravitas. If you don’t look the part, can’t converse convincingly and powerfully, and lack the ability to convey depth, integrity, trust and confidence, you will not succeed in a leadership position. EPT is about acquiring those necessary skills, polishing the ones you already have, and fully developing as a multi-faceted leader.
When do I need an Executive Presence Coach? (EPC)
The beauty of coaching is that you get what you need when you need it. It fast tracks you. If you are struggling in a group to learn something, it can be discouraging. It is also time consuming and frustrating. Coaching addresses your deep, underyling issues in a transformational ways that allows you to develop the skills you need more effortlessly. Pushing ahead isn’t the best way to learn new things. Some times, you have to sit back and reflect on your deepest beliefs and underlying patterns and reassess and center on what’s important. An EPC will help you discover what you could be doing differently to create a greater result in a shorter period time. EPS escalates change and empowers you with tools you can use to change how others see you. It’s also systematic. Changing things randomly may to create the results you desire. An EPC can point you in the right direction and monitor your progress until you succeed. If you struggling to be successful in a leadership position or planning on upward mobility in your workplace, an EPC can help you pave the road to achieve your goals.
What does ENGLISH BY THE HOUR offer that helps non-native speaking professionals and foreign-born executives compete in the crowded leadership space in the Silicon Valley / Bay Area?
Experts in their fields, Rebecca Linquist & Bud Everts bring years of experience helping clients in the Bay Area, everywhere from San Francisco to San Jose, to Fremont, Palo Alto, Sunnyvale, Milpitas, Mt. View, Cupertino, Burlingame and surrounding areas achieve their career goals by improving their speech. How we speak is integral to how others view us.
In terms of Appearance, if you have a tight jaw and speak very fast, you won’t convey in the cultural context of American society that you are a strong leader. You may just appear aggressive, angry, or stressed. The EP coaching programs Rebecca & Bud offer help clients to learn to move their mouths, jaws, lips and bodies differently, allowing them to improve their executive communication.
In terms of Communication, having a strong accent can be distracting and distancing. If you improve your pronunciation, word stress patterns, and usage of American English, others will understand you faster, better, and with less “listener fatigue.” It becomes a joy to listen to you, rather than a challenge and burden. Working with an EPC can help you target exactly what you are doing differently and change it!
In terms of Gravitas, you may find you have been labeled as someone who talks too fast, lacks conviction, is always in a hurry, lacks confidence, or isn’t an inspiring public speaker. The EPC programs Rebecca and Bud provide at ENGLISH BY THE HOUR will delve into how you breathe, what your posture is like, how you use and manage your energy and your body when you communicate. By changing your deep patterns, you will begin to improve your vocal qualities, changing your pitch when needed, grounding more successfully, increasing your volume when needed with less effort, using your whole body to inspire confidence in others in your messaging, and communicate more fully in public speaking using your body as a whole, integrating breath with articulation to its full potential.
With an EPC at ENGLISH BY THE HOUR, you’ll incorporate the “big picture.” It’s not really about “slowing down” or presenting better. It’s not only about communicating more clearly. It’s not simply your appearance that isn’t perfect. It’s the whole picture. How can you best integrate clarity in speech with how you show up overall? How can you eliminate areas of weakness and embrace new areas you hadn’t explored before with open body language? How can you convey receptivity to new ideas? How you put energy on your voice to impart messages with passion and inspiration? How can you use a wider range of pitch to convey emotion more effectively and engage your audience in a multi-dimensional way, more fully expressing yourself? How can you add resonance to your voice, making your messaging more heart felt and holistic? This is the power of EP coaching. It can accelearte you to the next level.
How does the EP Coaching program work at ENGLISH BYTHEHOUR?
Your Coach will meet with you weekly on a regular basis to ensure you make progress, highlighting specific areas of focus and monitoring your progress along the way, giving you feedback and correcting areas that require intervention. Each week builds on the last, so that after 10, 15, 20 or 25 weeks, you will achieve different levels of success.
These coaching programs include focused, individual, one-on-one sessions over video conferencing with participants who wish to improve their speech, clarity, diction, voice quality, and presence (how they “show up”). The sessions are customized to fit each individual’s needs and skill level and include elements of pronunciation, word stress, and intonation, as well as vocalization and projection, mouth movement, posture for speech and breath-enabling exercises, as well as feedback to improve the ability to speak up in meetings and business conversations, give presentations in American English with confidence, and/or engage in public speaking more effectively.
Process & Content: The individual meets with a Coach to make sure it’s a good fit and assess which package will be most effective. Packages include:
10 sessions: Pronunciation (vowels, consonants, words), articulation, mouth movement, word stress, endings on words, intonation, and free speech practice
15 sessions: Everything included in the 10 session package, plus postural elements and breath enabling exercises to help with pacing, projection, voice quality, and delivery, as well as elements to support public speaking in corporate settings.
20 sessions: Everything listed in the 15 session package, plus an additional component, such as vocabulary usage, business conversation practice, and integration of concepts learned through practice
25 sessions: Everthing listed in the 20 session package, plus 2 additional components, such as vocabulary usage, business conversation practice, and integration of concepts learned through practice
Note: Pacing of customization will differ depending on which package is selected, so more sessions allow the participant to excel at a higher level. Those who wish to improve public speaking and how they show up in meetings will need more sessions than those who merely wish to create clearer speech.
Progress reports are included with all programs.
CONSULTATIONS ARE AVAILABLE:
- There is an option for people who are unsure about the benefits of coaching or want more detailed information about their specific issues and how coaching will address them.
- Schedule a private 1-1 Zoom consult with a Coach (a Coach will follow up with you to schedule after you purchase)
- Get feedback on your speech and a full diagnostic session
- More deeply understand your underlying behaviors and patterns and what you need to do to create success
- Get a systematic view of what occurs in coaching as it relates to your specific issues before committing to enroll in one of our programs.