Presence is kinda Joanna’s thing. 😉 Her title is Executive Presence Coach, after all, and if there’s one thing you’ll notice if you ever spend time around her (and I did a ton during our time together at Carnegie Mellon University!), you’ll notice that Joanna is just one of those women who has it. Call it presence, self-assuredness, whatever—this is someone who carries an energy about her that’s magnetic.
Are you thinking like I am right now, “I want that too!!!” Yes? Okay, here’s her advice!
“Executive presence is the perfect combination of … your leadership skills, but it’s also an awareness of how you’re how you’re presenting yourself to the world, how you’re coming off to other people, because we have to think about both dimensions.”
Take a deep breath, slow down, make your point(s) with pauses, and know your material well enough to be able to work through it comfortably. Speed is your enemy!
See above. Taking time to know your material will make you more comfortable, but so will running your ideas or concerns by a trusted confidant or professional. Give Joanna a call if you want! Or get in touch with a friend before your big event, sharing your concerns so you can chill on the big day.
Having staple pieces in your wardrobe that make you feel like the most stylish version of you is key. Joanna dives into which pieces she loves most for work (spoiler alert: blazers!); or check out another interview I did with amazing stylist Melanie Pace HERE.
This! This. THIS.was a brilliant moment during our interview.
Remember during the Vice Presidential debate when then-candidate Kamala Harris reverted back to the phrase, “I’m speaking,” time and time again when she was interrupted? That is Interruption Armor.
Essentially, it’s a quick, non-confrontational phrase that you can easily memorize and revert to when you feel triggered while being interrupted in a professional setting.
Let’s be real: The last thing you want is to give someone ammunition to call you the “emotional one” at the workplace. That’s not to say there’s not a time and place for emotional conversations at work; it’s just that you don’t want to unleash the beast, so to speak, in a professional setting.
Here are some potential Interruption Armor phrases you can try:
“Let me wrap up this thought quickly.”
“I hear you; let me finish this and we can circle back.”
Here’s what Joanna has to say!
“I absolutely want every single person listening to this episode, to have a three- to four-word phrase that you can just, just think of it in a heartbeat. When your blood starts to boil when the emotions start to bubble up. You have your interruption armor, something like, “If I may…’ or, “Let me just finish.’ Or, “‘I’m speaking.’”
Not to beat this drum too hard, but I think it really says something that Joanna’s business combines both styling and professional coaching. There’s really something to the thought that when you look good, you feel good.
That means find your favorite part of your body and highlight it. Example: A belt on your waist; a pair of great skinny black pants if you love your legs, etc.
Joanna says a statement necklace that is a little longer, or a blazer both provide the effect of drawing down the eye a bit and balancing the overall look. My personal favorite is blazers, blazers, blazers!! That is one part of my TV lady wardrobe that I never got rid of. Throwing them on with dressy pants to jeans to jean shorts always makes a cute look.
Have three statement “moments” on your outfit that aren’t regular accessories like shoes or a watch. Joanna suggested a pair of statement glasses, a scarf, or another accessory that draws a little attention and makes the look more interesting.
Joanna also talked about not being scared to lean into your feminine energy at work, and I loved this.
First, what this doesn’t mean: This doesn’t mean flirting, dressing provocatively or talking suggestively. Nope! This means not trying to force your energy in a direction where it isn’t naturally; for me or anyone else identifying as a woman, that means leaning into the traditionally-feminine qualities of talking, listening, and being open to collaboration. Here’s what Joanna has to say about it:
“For you to build lasting relationships with the men in your office, try being a little bit more light—light and airy—not to give away your power. But there’s a lightness that I think men can feel more comfortable with. So, that is something that I have done, like jokey, but [then thought], ‘I’m gonna kick your ass tomorrow!’”
Headed for a big meeting with your superior soon where you’ll be discussing your salary? Joanna has the most amazing tip that will help make this conversation a little easier.
Keep an Accomplishment Journal. This means every week, take time to mark down small and large wins that happened—projects you’ve crushed; new accounts you’ve scored; meetings you’ve successfully run; really anything that showcases how you benefit the company—and bring it with you to the meeting. This will provide the perfect jumping off point when your boss asks you to justify the raise you’re asking for, and it will also help if you end up looking for a job outside your current company.
Joanna mentioned that we all tend to remember only the bad things, or the most recent big things that happened at work; that’s why it’s crucial to keep track of your wins, because they might naturally fall from your memory.
So start that journal, on paper or on a Word document, and bring those accomplishments with you next time you’re ready to ask for more!
I know you might think I’m a little biased ;), but honestly, this interview was spectacular. Joanna’s knowledge and energy will have you wanting to reach out for more advice, and it might also answer some other questions you have about Knowing Your Worth.
We also discuss how to say no; how to find your strengths; and why you need to go into your next raise meeting with an Accomplishment Journal. Listen below, and don’t forget to Subscribe! See you next week!