What is executive presence?

January 9, 2023

3 min read

Have you ever heard the term “executive presence” but weren’t exactly sure what it meant? You’re not alone. Executive presence is a term that gets thrown around a lot in the business world, but it can be difficult to define or quantify.

What Is Executive Presence?

Executive presence is a combination of qualities that enable a person to inspire confidence and respect in their leadership ability. It is important in the workplace because it helps leaders to effectively communicate and influence others.

It is a combination of factors that enable an individual to be perceived as a leader:

  • Confidence
  • Gravitas
  • Authenticity
  • Communication skills
  • Personal Brand


Confidence is an essential part of executive presence, as it helps leaders inspire others and make decisions with conviction.

This comes from the way you speak and how you deliver your message.

Example of Executive Presence And Confidence Using Yoodli’s Feedback Tool

Let’s look at Yoodli’s analysis of Sheryl Sandberg’s speech. We can see below that:

  • She doesn’t use filler words in her speech. Instead she pauses.
  • She has a variety of top keywords that relate to her speech.
  • She only uses weak words 2% of the time.


Gravitas, or a sense of importance and weight, is also crucial for leaders to convey, as it helps them command respect and attention from their peers and subordinates.


Authenticity is another key element of executive presence, as it allows leaders to be genuine and relatable to their teams.

Communication Skills

Good communication skills, including the ability to articulate ideas clearly and listen actively, are also essential for leaders to effectively convey their vision and connect with their team.

Personal Brand

Your personal brand includes both personal grooming and the way a leader presents themselves.

Overall, executive presence is about projecting a sense of confidence, competence, and authenticity that inspires trust and respect in others.

How Can You Improve Your Executive Presence?

Improving your executive presence can involve a number of different strategies. Here are a few ideas:

Build your confidence: Confidence can help you project authority and inspire others to follow your lead. You can build your confidence by setting and achieving challenging goals and seeking out new opportunities to lead or speak up.

Develop good communication skills: Good communication skills are crucial for executive presence, including the ability to articulate your ideas clearly and listen actively to others.

You can work on developing your communication skills by signing up for Yoodli and practicing your speaking in a judgment-free way. Yoodli’s feedback tool will instantly analyze your speech and give you suggestions on how to improve your word choice and delivery.

Yoodli’s Speaking Insights Of Sheryl Sandberg’s Speech

Below is an example of Yoodli’s feedback tool analyzing the entire Sheryl Sandberg speech. You can see the transcript at the bottom, and on the right is the speaking insights, which include word choice and delivery:

Full Yoodli Analysis of Sheryl Sandberg Speech
Full Yoodli Analysis of Sheryl Sandberg Speech

From a delivery perspective, we see that Sheryl Sandberg maintains great eye contact and incorporates pauses during her speech.

She could have reduced her pace slightly as to not sound rushed. 150 words per minute would be more optimal.

Be authentic: Authenticity helps build trust and credibility. To be authentic, aim to be genuine, transparent, and true to yourself in your interactions with others.

Pay attention to your personal brand: Dressing appropriately for different situations and taking care of your personal grooming can help you project confidence and professionalism.

An Example Of Yoodli’s Feedback Tool Analyzing Obama’s DNC Speech

Let’s take a look at one of the best speakers in the world, Barack Obama, and analyze his speech using Yoodli’s feedback tool:

Barack Obama DNC Speech – 2020

Barack Obama DNC Speech – 2020

Using Yoodli’s analysis, we can observe the following:

  • He doesn’t use any filler words! Instead, he incorporates pauses in his speech. This conveys confidence and credibility.
  • He includes only inclusive words. This helps him relate to all segments of the audience.
  • His top keywords are appropriate for the situation. Words such as president, better and democracy are all words that make sense in a political speech.
  • He only uses weak words 1% of the time.
Obama DNC Speech - Yoodli Analytics - Word Choice
Obama DNC Speech – Yoodli Analytics – Word Choice

Yoodli’s Free AI Speech Coach Helps You Develop Your Executive Presence By Working On Your Word Choice And Delivery

There are several strategies that you can use to improve your executive presence, such as:

  • Build confidence
  • Develop good communication skills
  • Be authentic
  • Pay attention to your personal brand

If you want to take your executive presence to the next level, use Yoodli, an AI-powered platform designed to help you grow as a leader.

With Yoodli, you’ll have access to a range of resources, including free coaching and feedback to help you develop your executive presence and strengthen your leadership skills.

Don’t miss this opportunity to tap into the power of AI and take your leadership to new heights. Sign up with Yoodli today.


Start practicing with Yoodli.

Getting better at speaking is getting easier. Record or upload a speech and let our AI Speech Coach analyze your speaking and give you feedback.