Here in Orlando, the Women of InfoComm Network gathered again for their annual breakfast. Men and women packed the house, chatting about the state of diversity in the industry over traditional breakfast fare. The oft-discussed topic of female representation came in a different flavor this year: executive presence.
Women are rare to find in the C-suite, and often the excuse for this is that most women don’t “seem like leaders.” Seeking to address this common criticism, keynote speaker Drew Jacobs, training manager and facilitator at the Ariel Group, focused her presentation on what makes any person seem like a leader. Leaning on her long experience as an “actor” (by her own words), Jacobs demonstrated the types of body language and emotional signaling that mark a “leader” from the rest. Breakout sessions followed in which many attendees discovered how old habits die hard, and looking like a leader takes practice—lots of practice.