3 Executive Leadership Qualities Women Need to Make the Most of Their Media Appearances

Executive Leadership Qualities Women Need For Media Appearances

Hi everyone, Susan Harrow, media coach, marketing strategist, author of Sell Yourself Without Selling Your Soul® published by HarperCollins and CEO of prsecrets.com. Here today to talk about the three executive leadership qualities that women need to make the most of their media appearances. These three qualities: how you act, how you speak, and how you look are critical to your executive leadership presence as a woman.


My definition is really about inner stillness and centeredness. It’s about being solid in who you are so that can get conveyed immediately. Gravitas is the ability to know and be centered in yourself that you can handle anything, that you can flow. Even if you’re thrown off center – you can get right back on. In Aikido, Japanese martial arts, I’m a black belt in Aikido, one of the things that someone said to the founders was: “Oh! you never get thrown off center. You’re always centered.” He said, “No, that’s not true.” He said “You just don’t see it. It happens so fast, when I get thrown off center, I get right back on.” Gravitas is also the ability to be able to, whenever you’re pulled off center, to get right back on and to stay in your inner knowing and stillness no matter what the situation entails.

The 3 Top Communication Strategies for Executive Leadership Qualities [3 c’s]

I think about the three things that you really need in communication. Which is to be compelling, to be confident and to be concise. Women often are not concise. So that’s one of the things that they really need to work on. And the confidence part: the French have a saying, “bien dans sa peau,” “feeling good in your own skin.” It’s such a big thing. There’s so much emphasis on our appearance that feeling good inside your skin, feeling good inside the skin that you’re in is really an essential part of confidence., of knowing that you look your best no matter what you look like. That you can feel inside your best: that is part of the communication too, because how you feel about yourself and how you treat others, is how others will treat you, it’s reflected back.

The other thing that I want to say about that because I think it’s important to say. Like just if somebody’s not treating you well that doesn’t mean that you’ve done something wrong. Or there’s no kind of blame. It’s just like looking at the fact of how you are interacting with others. And allowing or not allowing them to treat you in a certain way.

Is Your Professional Image Conveying Your Executive Leadership Presence?

The third thing is professional image. Do you look the part? Question about that: Is it attracting or is it distracting? Is the way that you dress and the way you present yourself are true representation of you? Are you the original? Are you a conformer? Do you do something, a little differently? I remember reading about a woman who said she just didn’t feel like her unless she was like wearing sneakers on stage. And that was her. That went with her image. Some people like Steve Jobs have a uniform that represents who they are. I think some of the most important things is to really feel comfortable with what you’re wearing. And that it is an alignment with who you think you are and who you want to represent.

Is Your Executive Leadership Presence Compromised by Distracting Clothes?

The other question that people ask, by the way that you’re dressing is: Are you competent? Can you do the job? If we’re looking at media appearances some women might dress a little too sexually. So they might be showing too much cleavage or whatever. That’s distracting because we don’t want people looking here. We want people looking at your face. We want them listening to you. So if that’s distracting, I mean you might have a great reason to show your cleavage but media appearances are not the place to do it.

Show Off One Best Feature that Enhances Your Executive Leadership Qualities

That also goes to not showing off or showing off your best features. I remember I had one client who was very attractive and she was talking with her image consultant. She wanted to wear a dress and she had great legs and she had a pretty substantial bust. We talked about just showing off one thing that was not distracting and the best thing for her on TV was to show her legs. Because of the way she was going to be positioned on a talk show. So all of those kinds of things are the things that we think about.

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Use Inner Practices Consistently to Develop a Stronger Presence

One of the things that I wanted to chat with you about is really these are inner practices. Yes, there are outer practices that you need to role play. And to when you’re giving a talk of course you need to practice it. But also there are some deep inner practices that have to do with breathing, that have to do with centering. These are the kinds of things that we learn in Aikido to stay centered and stay balanced while throwing the other person off balance and also verbal techniques.

These are the kinds of things that I work with women on when they’re in situations at work, media appearances or media training, and also presentations and meetings because these are the kinds of things that you want to do daily to be able to develop yourself internally so when you are put on the spot you can make the choice in that moment. Control your breath, control your body, control your face, control yourself and the situation.

If you would like to engage with me I’m at prsecrets.com. We can have a free consult. There are other great free things on there, and there are also courses and I invite you there to prsecrets.com. Bye-bye.

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Hi, I'm Susan

I’m a media coach, martial artist + marketing strategist who helps you communicate your values, mission + message during media interviews to multiply your revenue while building your brand + business. I believe that you don’t need to brag, beg or whore yourself to get the publicity you want. Nor do you need to be an axe murderer, a shamed sports star, or be involved in a sex scandal. There is another way…

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