Your Presence is Everything About You

There is a mindset I hear people articulate from time to time… and that mindset is that your presence is primarily created by the way you look and carry yourself. I heard this again recently in a workshop I was teaching, and the participant said that they did not have the wardrobe to create a strong presence. This person said that they like to be casual all the time, and that would mean that they would not be able to create a strong presence.

I have heard versions of this mindset a lot over the years. But this mindset is a mistake. Does the way we dress impact the perception of our presence? It can, for sure. But the bottom line is that presence is about a lot more than the way we dress. It is everything that we carry into the room, meeting, phone call, or presentation with us. Presence is the sum total of everything about us.

What does that mean? It means that our presence is impacted by what we say… how we say it… our vocabulary… our body language… our facial expressions… the quality of our ideas… the simplicity and memorability of our message… the degree to which we understand our audience… the way we answer questions… how well we listen (or IF we listen)… I could go on.

Presence is the sum total of everything about us, not just the way we dress. And it is also cumulative… our presence includes the gravitas or reputation we bring into the room.

We are constantly building up or tearing down our presence, all day, every day, by everything we do.

You want to create a stronger presence for yourself? Then it has to be built, from the ground up. And everything matters.

Have a great day.

Does your team:
– Take too long to make decision?
– Fail to ask for what it wants or needs from you?
– Make things too complicated?
– Deliver unconvincing or disorganized presentations?
– Have new hires who are unprepared to communicate in the workplace?

We transform teams and individuals with repeatable toolsets for persuasive communication.
Explore training, coaching, and consulting services from The Latimer Group.

Looking for more from The Latimer Group?

Looking for more from The Latimer Group?


One response to “Your Presence is Everything About You”

  1. Robert says:

    To your point, Steve Jobs wore the same outfit everyday – black turtleneck sweater, blue jeans, new balance sneakers. Why? He didn’t want to waste unproductive time thinking about what to wear: . He was focused on changing the world with his innovative products, not changing his clothes.

    Our ideas and creative thoughts can stimulate our audience’s minds eye and captivate their imaginations in ways the sparkle of a fashionable outfit or a well groomed appearance can’t do. In fact, people are often surprised when a person’s appearance is off-putting when their ideas are exhilarating. The once bland or boring appearance almost serves as a brand for them and their innovative ideas, as people counter their initial objections to them; although a good shower is always advised — something about a person’s body odor can’t be overcome with a good idea — and in this virtual world where smell is not transmitted via Video conference perhaps for those people it’s a good thing! 🙂

    “Speak softly and carry a big stick” could be rephrased for this topic as “Dress generically but communicate innovative persuasive ideas”.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Dean Brenner

A book about change

The Latimer Group’s CEO Dean Brenner is a noted keynote speaker and author on the subject of persuasive communication. He has written three books, including Persuaded, in which he details how communication can transform organizations into highly effective, creative, transparent environments that succeed at every level.