Navigate Change with eCornell

We know the saying — the only constant in life is change.

Are you prepared to thrive in an ever-changing professional landscape? Being able to navigate change plays a pivotal role in shaping successful careers and organizations. That’s why we’ve designed a diverse range of online certificates and courses, all authored by faculty experts at Cornell University, to equip you with key skills and knowledge needed to pursue change and excel amidst change. 

Here’s a curated list of our programs that support change:

 

1. Change Management Certificate

Learn to anticipate change as a leader and sustain the momentum of your change management initiatives.

  • School: Cornell SC Johnson College of Business
  • Courses: 4 core, 2 elective, plus access to a Live Leadership Symposium
  • Time Commitment: 3 months
  • Faculty Authors: 
    • Cathy Enz, Professor Emeritus, Cornell Nolan School of Hotel Administration
    • Samuel Bacharach, Professor, Cornell ILR School
    • Glen Dowell, Professor, Cornell SC Johnson College of Business
    • Kate Walsh, Dean, Cornell Nolan School of Hotel Administration
    • Jan Katz, Senior Lecturer, Cornell Nolan School of Hotel Administration
    • Risa Mish, Professor, Cornell SC Johnson College of Business
    • Rohit Verma, Professor, Cornell Nolan School of Hotel Administration
    • Angela Noble-Grange, Senior Lecturer, Cornell SC Johnson College of Business
    • Tony Simons, Professor, Cornell SC Johnson College of Business
    • Robert Bloomfield, Professor of Management, Cornell SC Johnson College of Business
    • Christopher Collins, Associate Professor, Cornell ILR School

 

2. Change, Disruption, and Growth Course 

Assess industry disruptions, evaluate organizational responses, and devise strategies for successful adaptation and growth.

  • School: Cornell SC Johnson College of Business
  • Course Length: 2 weeks
  • Faculty Author: Justin Johnson, Professor, Cornell SC Johnson College of Business

 

3. Communication Planning for Change Course 

Analyze audiences affected by anticipated organizational changes and develop a communication plan.

  • School: Cornell SC Johnson College of Business
  • Course Length: 2 weeks
  • Faculty Author: Amy Newman, Senior Lecturer, Cornell SC Johnson College of Business

 

4. DEI: Dialogue for Change Certificate

Gain essential skills and insights for driving diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives within your organization and community.

  • School: Cornell ILR School
  • Courses: 3 courses plus access to a Live DEI Symposium
  • Time Commitment: 2.5 months
  • Faculty Authors: 
    • Lisa Nishii, Professor and Vice Provost, Cornell ILR School
    • Adi Grabiner-Keinan, Executive Director for Academic DEI Education and Director of the Intergroup Dialogue Project, Cornell ILR School

 

5. Equitable Community Change Certificate 

Learn to manage development and changes across all sectors of society to build more equitable, just, and sustainable communities.

  • School: Cornell ILR School
  • Courses: 6
  • Time Commitment: 3 months
  • Faculty Authors: 
    • Sam Magavern, Senior Policy Fellow, Partnership for the Public Good
    • Russell Weaver, Director of Research, Cornell ILR Buffalo Co-Lab

 

6. Healthcare Change Management Certificate 

Understand, measure, implement, and lead successful change management initiatives in the healthcare sector.

  • School: Cornell Jeb E. Brooks School of Public Policy
  • Courses: 4 courses plus access to a Live Leadership Symposium
  • Time Commitment: 2 months
  • Faculty Author: Nick A. Fabrizio, Senior Lecturer, Cornell Jeb E. Brooks School of Public Policy

7. Leading Organizational Change Course

Explore your own leadership style and practice skills to translate transformative ideas into organizational results.

  • School: Cornell ILR School
  • Course Length: 2 weeks
  • Faculty Author: Samuel Bacharach, Professor, Cornell ILR School

 

8. Leading Strategic Change Initiatives Course

Cultivate your ability to assess the need for strategic change within your organization.

  • School: Cornell Nolan School of Hotel Administration
  • Course Length: 2 weeks
  • Faculty Author: Cathy Enz, Professor Emeritus, Cornell Nolan School of Hotel Administration

 

9. Making Strategic Change Happen Course 

Assess organizational readiness to effectively carry out change initiatives that drive growth and success.

  • Course Length: 2 weeks
  • Faculty Author: Cathy Enz, Professor Emeritus, Cornell Nolan School of Hotel Administration

 

Whether you’re looking to advance your career, drive organizational transformation, or make a positive impact in your community, we’re here to support your journey.

A culture of intrapreneurship: 3 practices for organizational innovation

A worker sitting in front of a laptop and holding a lightbulb in his right hand

In business, reinvention does not happen overnight. It is the result of scaled innovation – years of experimentation to identify and implement solutions to evolving challenges.

However, some senior leaders see innovation only as a one-off like a new product, service upgrade or go-to-market strategy. The misconception can stall a company’s progress toward significant goals and lasting industry impact. Expert faculty from the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business and ILR School recently shared three tactics organizations can use to integrate innovation throughout their operations.

1. Create a culture of intrapreneurship.

Rather than limiting out-of-the-box thinking to specific projects, executives and managers can guide employees to operate like entrepreneurs within their businesses. Through this approach, known as intrapreneurship, leaders help team members function with the autonomy and accountability to contribute new creative ideas on a continuous basis.

“As I work with companies globally, the primary reason I see innovation ‘getting stuck’ is that organizations approach it as a singular task,” said Neil Tarallo, senior lecturer of management and organizations at the Cornell Nolan School of Hotel Administration. “Innovation is an ongoing process, and it requires commitment, adaptability and a willingness to embrace change.”

Great innovation, according to Tarallo, begins with the C-suite and moves downward throughout an organization. Executives can foster creativity from the top by dismantling rigid hierarchies and empowering employees at all levels to share ideas. Additionally, managers can encourage cross-functional collaboration among teams.

“The companies best positioned to innovate when it is most necessary are those that innovate in small ways every day,” said Tarallo. “These organizations operate in teams that bring a range of specialties and perspectives to each challenge they face. This approach leads to a more forward-thinking culture than can sustain a business in the long term.”

2. Support risk-taking and long-term thinking.

Innovation often requires risk. To help employees adopt a positive risk mindset, leaders can encourage – and reward – experimentation, set realistic expectations for results and make it clear that failures are opportunities to learn and not stairsteps to punitive consequences.

Yuan Shi, assistant professor of management and organizations at the Nolan School, offers additional guidance for executives and managers discussing innovation with backers and shareholders.

“External investors might not immediately grasp the value of ideas that bridge different fields, despite the eventual significant impact of these cross-domain concepts,” Shi said. “Breakthrough innovation demands considerable patience from investors and may face threats from short-term thinking in the market. Firms should embrace longer time horizons and prioritize longer-term returns.”

Shi advises leaders to communicate with transparency, detail the competitive advantages and financial value of innovation and provide regular progress updates with evidence of impact.

3. Earmark resources for innovation.

A lack of resources can be a barrier to success for innovation, but oftentimes the greatest obstacle can be the tendency not to view innovation as an initiative that requires tangible support. According to Brian Lucas, assistant professor of organizational behavior at the Cornell ILR School, leaders may want big ideas but they are unlikely to receive them unless they make provisions for creativity.

“People believe a breakthrough idea is something that just pops into someone’s head, maybe while taking a shower, riding the bus, talking with a colleague or just by thinking hard enough,” said Lucas. “Leaders think that they just need to put out a call for innovation, and eventually one of their workers will have a good idea. Sometimes this happens. But more often breakthrough ideas are the result of deliberate creative work that requires resources.”

Lucas encourages executives to consider the four categories of people, time, space and funding in their efforts to support innovation: “Ask yourself how many people do you have working on new ideas and can these people bring in other people if needed. Do the people have dedicated time for innovation, or are they expected to multitask? Is there dedicated space for creativity and conversation? Do they have money to buy data and research, materials for prototyping, consulting services, travel and more?”

As the use of artificial intelligence (AI) increases, companies can also take steps to ensure that human knowledge and the latest technology can coexist successfully. Businesses can use tech as a tool for employee innovation and provide upskilling resources necessary for new job opportunities.

“Historically, tech advancements lead to employment and economic growth,” Lucas said. “Companies and leaders who view innovation as ongoing work are best equipped to use AI as a resource for creativity and to benefit from its potential.”

Gain expertise in cutting-edge innovation practices in one of Cornell’s more than 30 online leadership certificate programs, including IntrapreneurshipInnovation Strategy and Leadership Agility.

3 strategies to keep your best employees

Three cheerful employees working at laptops.

Though U.S. employers kicked off 2024 with the addition of 353,000 new jobs, the job-switching trend that catalyzed The Great Resignation continues at near record-setting levels. Some sectors are experiencing greater churn than others. At 5 percent, the quit rate in hospitality is significantly outpacing other industries, and engineers are increasingly seeking new professions altogether.

Hiring is just half the battle — particularly in an employment landscape transformed by artificial intelligence (AI), flexible work options, economic uncertainty and worker disengagement. Employers must adapt quickly to stop the revolving door.

As director of the Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies and the William J. Conaty Professor of Strategic Human Resources at the Cornell ILR School, Bradford Bell contends that while attracting top talent remains crucial, retention is the real test of organizational resilience. He recently shared three steps organizations can take to keep their best employees.

1. Foster a skills-based culture.

One challenge in the talent management space is the rapid transformation of jobs due to technologies like generative AI that have shifted the competencies employees must have to be successful at work.

“Companies can address this challenge by becoming more skills based. Understand and assess your employees’ current competencies and figure out what future skills employees will need to be successful in their work as their jobs and your business evolves,” Bell said.

Through industry research and trend analysis, leaders can identify skill gaps and train current employees to close them. Some organizations might see benefits in relaxing degree requirements for internal upward mobility and providing personalized learning in mentorship programs, on-demand courses and external online certificate programs instead. Leaders can also restructure performance reviews to evaluate employees based not only on past performance but also on skill development.

“The future of work is a whirlwind of automation and disruption,” Bell added. “Help your employees navigate change, solve complex problems and increase their value within your organization.”

2. Learn to lead from a distance.

Remote and hybrid work models are changing the nature of leadership. Organizations need new strategies to make up for the distance — real and perceived.

“Leaders must set the course for their teams, making sure that all members are clear about the mission, goals and expectations to avoid the conflict and confusion that can arise particularly when members are virtual,” Bell said. “Managers should also support the social climate by being more purposeful about orchestrating interactions and building relationships among team members.”

Department heads should empower employees to be more responsible for managing their own work. To assist workers, Bell encourages organizations to facilitate the effective use of technologies by ensuring all team members have access to necessary tools.

“Now that employees and organizations have experienced flexibility and the benefits that it can offer, hybrid work models are here to stay,” Bell said. “No matter where employees are located, leaders must ensure they are using technologies and tools in the right situations and can adjust based on how tasks and environments shift over time.” 

3. Drive a positive employee experience.

Replacing experienced personnel can incur considerable costs in recruitment and training. High turnover can erode morale in a manner that damages current team dynamics and fosters a reputation that repels new talent. By effectively engaging employees, organizations can mitigate these risks.

“When we look at the research, we see a few key factors that impact employee engagement: the design of work itself, learning and career development and leadership,” said Bell, who asserts that it is important for employees to perform meaningful, varied tasks and view their work as significant.

Bell encourages leaders to consider how they can design jobs themselves to be more engaging and ensure that employees have access to professional development opportunities that present clear career paths within their organizations.

He encourages managers to look inward as well: “Leaders who are more transformational as opposed to transactional — those who can build strong relationships with their employees — are able to drive higher levels of engagement within their teams.”

Bell also encourages leaders to examine how they listen to employees, formally and informally. He recommends that leaders capture employee sentiment and voice through surveys and one-on-one discussions.

“This needs to be a multichannel and ongoing process in which organizations and leaders are constantly listening to employees, identifying the pain points employees are experiencing, taking action on the feedback and communicating back to employees the changes they are making,” he said. “Through that listening process, you create a productive cycle that enhances employee engagement and increases retention over time.”

Learn the latest best practices for talent management in one of Cornell’s online human resources certificate programs, including several coauthored by Bell: Hybrid Work StrategyHR AnalyticsRecruiting and Talent Acquisition and Strategic Human Resources Leadership.

Content Writing certificate teaches leaders to engage and persuade

By Justin Heitzman, eCornell marketing intern

From internal planning documents to external media releases, a convincing piece of writing can be a key to success for business initiatives – and for the professionals who lead them.

Cornell’s Content Writing online certificate program, offered through eCornell, empowers students with techniques to present information succinctly and engage readers with actionable next steps. Lauren Chambliss, senior lecturer in the Department of Communication at Cornell’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, is the faculty author. Chambliss was a journalist for 20 years in Washington, D.C., before coming to Cornell. She previously served as director of communication for the Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability and now teaches full time.

In developing the certificate program, Chambliss noted a trend: Organizations expect professionals across career fields to take on – and excel in – writing-focused responsibilities. Recent studies on effective management, such as Google’s Project Oxygen, show that employers view strong communication skills as essential and closely associated with good leadership, no matter the sector.

“In today’s professional landscape, writing is not just a task for copywriters. It’s a valuable skill across various roles and industries,” Chambliss said. “Regardless of your job title, having a strong writing portfolio sets you apart, paves the way for career advancement and opens doors to leadership opportunities.”

Even standard presentations are being replaced with written content in some organizations. At Amazon, PowerPoint slides have been phased out in favor of six-page memos at executive meetings. The company’s leaders contend that the practice encourages employees to pack as much information as possible into their proposals, creating more convincing narratives.

Students earning Cornell’s Content Writing certificate complete two courses on conciseness and persuasiveness in copywriting and three courses on effective writing for digital contexts: websites, online media and social media. In addition to gaining an understanding of copywriting fundamentals, participants learn an increasingly important skill: content targeting. Students complete a variety of writing and self-editing exercises throughout the program, building toward a final project.

The program also offers a symposium: three days of live, interactive virtual sessions that enable students, Cornell faculty and industry experts to engage in real-time conversations about pressing topics in marketing and communications.

“Creating engaging, lively content across multiple platforms is critical in today’s professional world, whether you are a content creator, a business owner or a copywriter in a big company, government agency or non-profit,” Chambliss said. “Dynamic writing requires us to keep adapting and improving our skills.”

Cornell’s Content Writing certificate program prepares professionals to craft content that engages and persuades. Are you ready to discover current best practices for your business communications? Learn more and enroll now.

This story was drafted by eCornell marketing intern Justin Heitzman.

Cornell introduces new AI-focused Board Governance program

Cornell live immersion program participants engage in discussion

Blending resilience and risk is essential for companies that intend to survive today’s tech innovations, economic uncertainty and political pendulum swings. The greater the challenges, the greater the demand for leaders who can deliver an effective mix of foresight and strategic oversight.

Board Governance: Navigating Emerging Technologies and More in a Complex World, a new Cornell Tech immersion program slated for this fall, is set to prepare corporate board members for fast-paced evolutions in artificial intelligence (AI), geopolitics, cybersecurity, supply chains, sustainability and other areas driving the future of commerce.

Read the full story on the Cornell Chronicle.

New Cornell certificate emphasizes dialogue in DEI

Photo of group dialogue with one young woman facing camera.

In 2020, hiring for diversity, equity and inclusion roles surged. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, three years later – amid recession fears – companies are cutting DEI leadership positions at a rapid and disproportionate rate, leaving practitioners to seek new ways of continuing efforts to create welcoming work environments.

Dialogue for Change, a new online certificate program from Cornell’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations and the Intergroup Dialogue Project (IDP) delivered through eCornell, provides a fresh approach to DEI for team managers and supervisors, executives and all employees interested in building equitable cultures.

“The certificate focuses on four key development areas: human connection, social identity, intergroup communication and strategic change,” said Adi Grabiner-Keinan, executive director for academic DEI education and director of the IDP. “Our goals are to develop participants’ awareness around the four development areas and to strengthen their capacity to make meaningful change at personal, interpersonal and institutional levels.”

Together with Lisa Nishii, vice provost for undergraduate education and professor in the Cornell ILR School, Grabiner-Keinan is co-author of the Dialogue for Change certificate. The duo intends for the program to help professionals promote sustainable institutional change no matter their position on the organizational chart.

In three courses – Counteracting Unconscious Bias, Dialogue Across Difference and Strategic Influence – participants learn and practice skills for intentional connection and communication, and examine ways to impact change in different spheres of influence, including within their teams and organizations. These skills, according to Grabiner-Keinan, are crucial well beyond the field of DEI.

“Skills such as active and generative listening, strategic questioning, purposeful sharing, perspective-taking, withholding judgment and questioning assumptions allow us to lead, communicate and collaborate effectively,” Grabiner-Keinan said. “They enable us to broaden our perspective, learn from a variety of people and situations, bring people together, think creatively and create meaning and vision. Unfortunately, such skills are seldom taught in schools or colleges.”

Dialogue for Change engages students in weekly live sessions. Trained IDP facilitators guide participants through practice conversations within small groups of experts and peers. Each dialogue builds on earlier coursework, enabling the cohort to use new knowledge in real time. Students who complete the program earn professional development credit hours toward human resources and project management certifications.

Each student who earns the Dialogue for Change certificate, Grabiner-Keinan says, will recognize their power to foster inclusion, connection and equity in any role. “An integral part of this program is to identify the agency and responsibility that each of us has. It’s true that leaders and supervisors have more power in institutions, but this program helps people understand that they all have power to make change interpersonally and institutionally within their workplaces.”

The Dialogue for Change certificate program is now enrolling students. Visit the program website to learn more.

Industry voices come to second Rethinking Retail and Brands conference

The past 15 months have been a wild ride for the retail and consumer brands industry, with new formats, products, and purchase patterns sprouting overnight. Now, companies are looking ahead to a post-pandemic world. To help them navigate the “new normal,” Cornell is providing professionals unprecedented access to leading industry experts at its second annual Rethinking Retail and Brands live virtual conference, taking place June 15 to 18.

This year, a new conference format brings leading industry voices to the table as well as those of Cornell’s business and food retail experts. Also, session themes were designed to impact a broader range of industry professionals: from retailers and wholesalers, manufacturers, entrepreneurs, consultants, and store managers; to those working in consumer packaging, supply chain, logistics, and design. And at the end of each day, attendees can now interact with faculty, experts, and peers in a virtual “conference hall.”

“The focus is on the future,” says program co-director Dan Hooker, senior lecturer in the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management. “Retail is a very fast-moving, rapidly evolving industry. We’re creating a dynamic space for conversation with industry experts, focusing on the most relevant topics driving today’s retail sector.”

Those topics cross four major themes: the Future of Retail, Operations and Supply Chain, Brands, and Big Thinking. Ira Kalish, Deloitte’s chief global economist, will open the conference with an overview of the “new rules” of today’s new economy. Leaders in that evolving landscape then dive deeper into specifics. Trung Nguyen, SVP of Operations at innovative delivery service Shipt, will explain the importance of refining “last-mile delivery” to create different product experiences. And Brian Choi, CEO of The Food Institute, will discuss the rise of alternatives in cuisine, dining format, and menu design with Lilly Jan—Cornell lecturer, former chef, and expert in food and beverage management.

Several Cornell alumni also will bring their expertise back to campus for the Rethinking Retail and Brands conference. Amy Oates Fitzgerald of Numerator will explore post-COVID changes in consumer behavior and trends; Kerrie Lopez, head of merchandising marketing for online retailer Thrive Market, will discuss how to make data-driven decisions in a complex, omnichannel retail environment; and Jason English from Goldman Sachs will provide Wall Street’s perspective on today’s food sector.

The final day of the conference is dedicated to providing attendees with a bigger picture of the emerging retail landscape. It culminates in a closing session with Bill Strassburg, VP of Strategic Initiatives at Wegmans. When Strassburg began his career at Wegmans in 1977, he says there were few MBAs who would consider a job in retail because there was little innovation and few opportunities for advancement. In this session, Strassburg invites attendees to share his progressive perspective on what’s in store for retail over the next 10 to 15 years.

Registration link: eCornell.

Certificate program aims to build technology leaders

Technology professionals must be adept at data analysis and problem-solving, but they also need interpersonal and professional skills to manage teams successfully.

To address this gap, Cornell is offering a new Technology Leadership certificate program. Participants will be able to analyze their leadership attributes and decision-making styles; strengthen essential communication, motivation and influencing skills; and ultimately prepare for future growth and success in managing technical and project teams.

“Leadership development happens through learning, practice and reflection,” said faculty author Erica Dawson, professor of practice in the College of Engineering. “The evolution from technology professional to technology leader takes time. This program gives professionals the tools and structure to succeed.”

The program will be useful to both emerging and experienced technology leaders, as well as managers and directors of web services, software development and IT teams. Early to mid-career technology professionals interested in moving to a leadership role, chief technology officers, business leaders who work with technology professionals and graduate students transitioning from academia to industry will also find value in this certificate program, which is available online through eCornell.

The Technology Leadership certificate program consists of six two-week courses:

  • Strengths-Based Technology Leadership
  • Values-Based Technology Leadership
  • Decision-Making Skills for Technology Leaders
  • Collaborative Communication for Technology Leaders
  • Courageous Communication for Technology Leaders
  • Influence and Motivation for Technology Leaders

Upon completion of the program, participants earn a Technology Leadership Certificate from Cornell Engineering, and 60 professional development hours. Visit the eCornell website for more information on this program.

Understanding fear and courage

Courage is less of an innate character strength than it is a skill; an individual can intentionally develop courage when the right skills are in place. In the words of Nelson Mandela, “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.”

Erica Dawson, Professor of Practice at the Cornell College of Business, recently gave a Cornell Keynote examining courage and fear, and how to put both into perspective.

Courage is defined as having four components, Dawson explains. First, an action needs an uncertain outcome; if we knew how something was going to work out, it wouldn’t require courage. Second, the person must be fearful, which relates to the third component, the presence of a perceived or real risk. The fourth and final component is that the individual perceiving a risk and feeling fear where the outcome is uncertain, then takes action. This, Dawson says, is courage.

However, she cautions, courage does not mean leaping blindly. Taking calculated risks, gathering information to use in decision-making, and monitoring the downside are all important steps. If a person takes these steps and still cannot fully manage or control the outcome, the element of courage is required. Having courage is taking action when the stakes are high and the result uncertain.

Courage can further be categorized into three different forms: physical, psychological, and moral. Physical courage includes a physical act, such as rescuing someone from a fire or entering a situation perceived as dangerous. Psychological courage is an act that includes a psychological risk, wherein one admits to a mistake or risks making others comfortable. Moral courage is the ability to do the right thing and stand up for personal values, even if it comes at a cost. Most often, Dawson finds that individuals need to draw on psychological and moral courage.

One way she advises us to conquer fear and further develop courage is to identify the fear, which can enable an individual to recognize the irrational aspects and manage the rational ones. The act of stopping to take a deeper look at an immediate emotion, in order to get to the root causes of it, can help.

Dawson gives the example of learning to skydive: “I attended classes, and I did a progression of jumps to get my license. Debilitating fear then set in. I created my own failure through fear.”

Dawson explains she identified the rational fear associated with the risks of skydiving, and took time to consider the fact that she trusted herself, her equipment and her teachers. “And then, this thing I had feared switched to a joy.”

For more information on the topics of courage and fear, watch the full-length keynote with eCornell or learn more about the Engineering Leadership Certificate program, developed by Dawson.

5 tips for improving your public speaking presence

Do you have the presence of a leader? Are you comfortable public speaking? A vital skill in business and life is the ability to genuinely connect with others, yet many are intimidated at the thought of standing and speaking before friends or peers.

eCornell’s Chris Wofford interviews Cornell professor David Feldshuh (March 26, 2019).

David Feldshuh, Theater Professor and Artistic Director of the Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts at Cornell University, can absolutely relate to this.

“I was extremely shy,” admitted Feldshuh, “but I decided to get over my fear of public speaking by going to drama school and becoming a professional actor.” Learning from these techniques, Feldshuh invented his own method of training people to have a presence, communicate, and connect, and ultimately become more effective when speaking on any subject, in any place, and to any audience.

Feldshuh discussed a few tips for refining public speaking skills in a recent webcast with eCornell, Executive Presence: the Lifelong Process of Public Speaking.

1. Take Up Space

Public speaking requires becoming comfortable with taking up space. Feldshuh suggests practicing simple exercises, including posture, centering, balance and stillness. “Your head is high, your shoulders are wide, you’re balanced. You reach out, you ‘catch rain’. Your shoulders come back. Relax… Think about yourself as a pendulum; side to side, until you come to a point of stillness.”

2. Freedom of Expression

Executive presence should be authentic, Feldshuh advises. You must have freedom of expression and access to a range of vocal and physical communication skills. Recognize and become familiar with your own gestures and sounds; you want to use your voice and body without fear or self-consciousness. Relax your face, breathe, and smile.

3. Magnetism

Feldshuh defines magnetism as “the ability to bring variety to how you present yourself so people want to hear more.” It is important to connect with your audience, and understand how each person is different. Change your delivery as needed; take a moment to ask yourself what you want from that person, and make that connection.

4. Performance

Not everyone can be a magnificent speaker, but Feldshuh says the measure of success is being able to see and believe in yourself as competent. The easiest way to do this is to observe yourself – ask a friend to take videos of you presenting, or ordering something from a menu. The more you acclimate to seeing yourself, the more you become comfortable with your own voice and gestures.

5. Practice

Becoming an effective speaker doesn’t happen overnight. Feldshuh encourages individuals to take the time to become self-aware of their habits, and learn techniques to change those habits and develop new ones. “Record it, look at it, change it,” says Feldshuh. “You’re coaching yourself, and that’s the measure of success.”

This method is the basis of Cornell University’s online certificate program, Executive Presence. Over the course of fifteen weeks, students learn to refine their public speaking skills through the act of analyzing their own performance, performing exercises and practicing transformative techniques.