Some say your presence is something you can't change. That people like Bill Clinton and George Clooney have "it," and "it" can never be taught. But the book, Own the Room: Discover Your Signature Voice to Master Your Leadership Presence (Harvard Business Review Press), contends that you can cultivate a presence that elevates your capabilities to dominate conversations, meetings and other engagements in a large and positive way. Citing one example, authors Amy Jen Su and Muriel Maignan Wilkins ask readers to consider Bill Gates, who certainly doesn't project classic qualities of magnetic presence. "He's not slick, or particularly extroverted, or heavy on the charm," the authors write. "But he has presence in spades. He is highly influential, able to impact others, and true to himself. He has not traded in his trademark sweaters for a polished Madison Avenue suit or his true-to-form spectacles for contact lenses." Jen Su and Maignan Wilkins are executive coaches and leadership development consultants.
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