Shanna Johnson

Vice President, Clinical Quality Analytics and Improvement
Trinity Health
Livonia, MI

Developing Executive Presence

Diverse candidates may find that when they speak or present, the audience is attentive and maybe even scrutinizing.   There may be preconceived notions or stereotypes cast before you open your mouth.  It is critical that you become comfortable with whom you are, and what you do—or do not—know.  Being proud of who you are shines through without a saying word.  Think before you speak.  Consider jotting down thoughts and ideas before you share them.  When you do speak, show confidence by speaking loud enough to be heard and strive to maintain eye contact.

Celebrate your diversity.  If you have an opportunity to promote what is inherently good about what makes you different from others, take it.  Take the opportunity to subtly or boldly share a new perspective on a topic, especially if you believe that your diverse background affords you a fresh perspective or a lens through which you view things differently than the majority.  Do not feel compelled to be the spokesperson for your diverse group, but know that you are a representative with influence on others’ perception of that group.