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The Power of Presence: Unlock Your Potential to Influence and Engage Others Hardcover – November 18, 2011

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: AMACOM (November 18, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814417736
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814417737
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,506 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Book Description

Everyone recognizes leaders with “presence.” They stand out for their seemingly innate ability to command attention and inspire commitment. But what is this secret quality they exude, exactly?

Executive and CEO coach Kristi Hedges demystifies this elusive trait, revealing that leadership presence is the intersection of outward influencing skills and internal mental conditioning. Using her I-Presence model, the author shows how anyone—regardless of position or personality—can strengthen their impact. Readers will learn how to build trust as the foundation for leadership, eschew perfectionism for authenticity, banish limiting thoughts and behaviors, and galvanize their team through visionary, inspiring communications.

Stellar technical knowledge, a strong work ethic, excellent presentation skills—none of these tangible traits puts people on the career fast track as readily as a compelling presence. Filled with profiles of leaders with powerful presence and the latest neuroleadership research translated into actionable habits, this authoritative guide puts a little-understood, but potentially game-changing, tool within everyone’s reach.

From the Inside Flap

Hands-down, executive presence is the corporate it factor. It’s directly linked to your ability to get noticed, forge trusting relationships, and get others on board with your vision.

But few people realize their true presence potential. Think of the otherwise competent team leader who doesn’t command respect in executive meetings, or the overextended boss who never seems to know what’s really going on with his employees, or how to motivate them.

The good news is that limitations such as these are not set in stone. In fact, they’re completely surmountable with the strategies and exercises in The Power of Presence, a highly readable and deeply insightful book that cuts to the heart of presence—what it is exactly, and how to get more of it.

The Power of Presence shows everyone—introverts and extroverts, job seekers and senior executives—how to improve their presence. In her distinguished career as a CEO coach, public relations executive, political consultant, and award-winning entrepreneur, author Kristi Hedges has witnessed even the highest-level people struggling to connect and communicate, often tangled by nerves and confused about how others perceive them. Her experiences have helped her develop the unique I-Presence™ model, which is equal parts communication aptitude, mental attitude, and authentic style. And now, you can cultivate the skills to inspire and motivate by focusing on the three core aspects of presence:

1. Intentional: Determine the type of presence you want and the values you want to convey, and how they match up with the way people currently perceive you.

2. Individual: Understand how to build relationships that foster trust, and that drive business, loyalty, and career success.

3. Inspirational: Learn what the master communicators do to inspire others, including using powerful language, motivating through change, and presenting to audiences effectively.

Presence isn’t just a commanding personality or unabashed confidence. It’s much deeper, achieved over time, and driven by your own authenticity. Each day will bring a new opportunity to reshape or finesse your presence—in your dealings with colleagues, your contributions in meetings, your presentations to groups large and small. With masterful strategies and practical tools, this book will help you rid yourself of limiting behaviors, provide new ways of thinking and doing, and probably change your beliefs about what makes an executive strong.

Kristi Hedges is a communications expert, entrepreneur, and certified leadership coach whose clients include Fortune 500 corporations, global professional services firms, entrepreneurial businesses, national associations, and the U.S. government. She's a leadership contributor to and, and a speaker for Vistage International and The Founder Institute.

More About the Author

Kristi Hedges is a serial entrepreneur, communications expert, author, and leadership coach. In her 20-year career working with leaders to help them communicate more effectively she's encountered every personality type imaginable, yet remains more than a little passionate that anyone can learn presence. Her workshops and leadership coaching programs have been utilized by CEOs and teams of all sizes in companies spanning the Fortune 500, government, non-profit and privately held small to mid-market businesses. She runs her own coaching practice, The Hedges Company, and is a founding partner in the leadership development firm, Element North.

Kristi blogs on leadership for, created and penned "The Leadership Factor" column for, and is a leadership contributor for Ragan's HR Communicator. She's been featured in publications as diverse as Washington Post, Reuters,, San Jose Mercury News, and numerous others. She's been honored as one of the "50 Women Who Mean Business in Washington, D.C." and as an owner of a top 25 Largest Women-Owned Businesses by the Washington Business Journal. She speaks widely on leadership topics for corporate groups, industry conferences and with Vistage International, the global professional development organization for CEOs, and The Founder's Institute.

Prior to becoming a leadership coach, Kristi co-founded and ran one of the first technology communications firms in the Washington, D.C. area for a decade before successfully selling her interest. Her career highlights also include working for a national news outlet, and as a political consultant for dozens of electoral campaigns from U.S. President to statewide offices. Kristi holds a Phi Beta Kappa B.A. from Virginia Tech and an M.S. from Purdue University, both in communications. She is an ICF-credentialed leadership coach through Georgetown University, and is certified in emotional intelligence.

Kristi blogs actively on all issues surrounding leadership at and @kristihedges.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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I would recommend this book to anyone from a PTA president to an executive leader of a business.
Jennifer Von Elm
Most books on leadership or personal development advise that to increase your success, you must increase your presence.
John Chancellor
The book has very practical tips and advice, but the anecdotes throughout make for a compelling read.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By John Chancellor TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Most books on leadership or personal development advise that to increase your success, you must increase your presence. Yet too often this advice comes with little or no specific direction. At times there is even a poor definition of what presence really is.

If you have been seeking an authoritative source which not only clearly defines presence but also gives very specific steps to develop your presence, The Power of Presence by Kristi Hedges is your answer. The book is based on Ms. Hedges in depth personal experience from running her own PR firm, providing executive coaching and facilitating high level workshops. Her advice is solid, includes lots of real life examples, is well organized, presented in a straightforward manner and is easy to understand.

The book is well written and fairly easy to read. However there is a lot of information to absorb. Thankfully at the end of each chapter, she summarizes the important points covered. And the final chapter is a Cliffs Notes summary of all the concepts presented in the book. So you will not need to go back through the entire book to refresh your memory about any particular point or topic. Having said that, I do believe most people would gain additional valuable insight by a second reading after a reasonable time interval.

Ms. Hedges presents the material as a three part program: The first is Intention, you need to set your intentions before a meeting, presentation, etc. The second part is Individual - how to forge strong relationships and build trust. The third part is Inspiration - how to motivate so that people want to follow your lead.

While there is extremely valuable and insightful information throughout the entire book, there are some specific passages I would like to comment on.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Winston on January 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Most books about the qualities that make a good leader - presence being one of them - leave you with the impression that you're either born with them, or you're out of luck. What makes this book unique is that Hedges despels that notion right off the bat, clearing the way for you to accept and use the tools she lays before you. Rather than being a trait that's unique to the Board room, Hedges points out that presence is something we already have, manifesting itself in the different roles we play in our lives. Better yet, she gives you the awareness to find it, and the permission to bring it full force in other aspects of your life, whether business or personal interactions. This is a highly useful book because Hedges makes the seemingly out of reach aura of 'presence' entirely accessible. Unlike a lot of books that fall into the executive coaching category, the tone here isn't at all didactic or condescending. She puts you at ease at the start and leaves you hopeful and confident that, regardless of your level or background, presence is a trait you can master. This is a very good read.
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Format: Hardcover
As I began to read this book, I was reminded of one of my favorite songs in the musical and film, Chicago, sung by Amos Hart (played by John C. Reilly in the film version) who characterizes himself as Mister Cellophane:

"And even without clucking like a hen.
Everyone gets noticed now and then
Unless of course that person it should be
Invisible, inconsequential me...."

Most people in most situations lack the ability to attract favorable attention. They feel invisible. Worse yet, many feel they deserve to be ignored because they are "inconsequential." Fortunately, Kristi Hedges has developed what she c alls "I-Presence, a model I have found to be the `secret sauce' of executive presence. It is equal parts communication aptitude, mental attitude, and authentic style. It combines a supportive inner mindset with the outer skills needed to create the natural, confident, consistent leadership presence." Actually, the information, insights, and recommendations that Hedges provides (with appropriate modification) can help almost anyone, including but not limited to executives) to develop with she characterizes as "intentional presence."

Specifically, "understanding how you want to be perceived and subsequently communicating in a manner so that you will be perceived the way you want. It means aligning your thoughts with your words and your actions. And it requires a keen understanding of your true, authentic self, as well as your impact on others." In essence, Hedges offers to help her reader to complete a process by which to develop these separate but interdependent capabilities:

o 100% fulfillment of one's potentialities
o 360º perspective on interaction between one's self and one's environment
o moral compass for what is right...
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Bob on December 18, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This is an outstanding book for anyone in a position where they need to influence other people (which is basically everyone in the business world). I read 50-75 books a year with a mix of fun (mysteries, historical fiction) and business management. Most management books I skim, get some general concepts and put back on the shelf. This book I will keep as a reference because of the practical and tangible ideas that can be practiced. I previously ran an organization of a few hundred million in revenue and Kristi was my executive coach. She was excellent and I got the feeling of being coached with this book. The book follows her style of coaching: there are concepts presented with some research backing, then there are tangible examples given, and then followed by practical instructions on what and how to work on to improve in that area. It's the next best thing to having Kristi as your coach.

I'd recommend this to anyone who wants to be more effective at influencing and believe it will be effective at any level of management. Even Tiger Woods takes coaching and it's difficult for executives who are pretty good in this area to benefit from most of the basic books out there. But just like for Tiger, this book can break down the swing mechanics for someone pretty good at the game and help you stay in the fairway even more often.
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