We can spend a large part of the next year debating the pros and cons of virtual work. Even if you don’t work from home, you are still virtual when you have a phone call or any other interaction that is not physically in-person. Life is not all about your job, either. You may also have many other virtual meetings outside of work with friends, family, and various associations.
One question I’ve been hearing a lot more is:
How do you project Executive Presence when you are not physically present?
It’s a great question and will become even more relevant as more and more work (and other interactions) become virtual.
The good news is there is one, EZPZ step you can take to have amazing virtual Executive Presence. I’m not going to tell you to talk more, project your voice, or adjust your video camera. There’s lots of good advice on various methods to improve your virtual calls, but we will focus on one, specific aspect today. Our sole concern is,
How do you have Executive Presence virtually?
The solution requires us to properly frame the question. What do we even mean by Executive Presence? We are talking about the ability to inspire confidence that you can lead in a given context. So the key is not how you sound or appear, but how you lead.
The next time you attend a virtual meeting, whether you are assigned to lead it or not, ask yourself,
“What is the goal of this meeting and how can I help advance the goal?”
The one and only step you need to take to have amazing virtual Executive Presence is to provide whatever is needed in that meeting to help meet the goal. That’s it.
Sometimes, it means you ask a question.
Sometimes it means you talk more.
Sometimes it means you talk less.
Perhaps you engage people who can help, but for whatever reason are not involved, yet.
At the end of the day, if you play an outsized role in helping meet the goal of the meeting, you will be the one everyone remembers as having amazing virtual Executive Presence.
Remember, your Executive Presence sets the ceiling of your success.