6 Steps to Enhance Your Leadership Presence through Embodying Gravitas

Training in acting can enhance your leadership presence through learning to embody gravitas!

Acting teaches you how to become something new.  To “become” means to be comfortable with new qualities, behaviors and skills.

I taught acting for many years to adults who were mostly professionals. Many of them came to acting classes because they thought it would help them develop confidence and comfort speaking in meetings and presentations. We were very successful. Now I use acting techniques to help professionals develop leadership presence and gravitas.

Think about what an actor has to do.  He has to transform his own thoughts, feelings and actions into those of the role he is playing, the character he is portraying.  To do this well, he has to commit to new thoughts, feelings and actions so that he believes in what he is doing and so that others (the audience) believe in him as well.

You can learn to enhance your leadership presence using steps similar to those that actors use.  Your objective is to embody gravitas so you become comfortable with new behaviors, thoughts and feelings.

Using these steps, here is how you do it:

  1. Decide what you want to become and are willing to transform yourself into – maybe more confident, connected, attentive, powerful, expressive, thoughtful, wise.
  1. Find role models, people who exude gravitas in their thoughts, actions and speech.
  1. Identify the qualities and characteristics of those role models.
  1. Physicalize your gravitas qualities and characteristics. Practice walking and talking like your role models. Find the voice of gravitas. Just as an actor has to discover how his character walks and talks, decide what physical characteristics will help you express gravitas.  In your living room, practice walking and talking the way people who exhibit gravitas walk and talk.
  1. Get into the skin of the characteristics of gravitas. Get into a relaxed, meditative state and use your imagination to put yourself into the skin of one of your role models. Let the emotional and mental state of your role model infuse into you until you can feel the emotional tone of gravitas inside your body. This is my secret acting technique for embodying desired qualities.  It works like magic to help leaders embody gravitas. It just take belief that you can do it.
  1. Write scripts and practice delivering leadership messages, talks and critical points using the feeling tone, voice and behaviors of gravitas.

If you follow these steps, you’ll start to become comfortable with your new behaviors and you’ll be ready to act, think and speak with more gravitas.  You are well on your way to becoming the leader who embodies and exudes gravitas.

To quote Shakespeare, “All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players!” Like an actor, you have within you the possibility of expressing all the qualities of humanity. With a little effort and practice you can be comfortable being the leader who embodies gravitas.

I have developed a course to coach leaders to cultivate gravitas to enhance their leadership presence. The program utilizes what some have called future pulling which is envisioning your future as the kind of leader you want to become and creating the steps to make it happen. For information visit


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