Leadership Presence

Leadership Presence: Practical Training in Projecting Warmth and Strength and the Science Behind It

Friday, April 12th, 2013, 12:30 PM - 2:00 PM, Uris 141

Practical Skills

John Neffinger, Partner, KNP Communications

Science Commentary

Professor Adam Galinsky, Management Division, Columbia Business School


What gives some leaders the charisma, magnetism, or stage presence to connect with an audience? How is it that some managers radiate strength and warmth whereas others (equally competent and concerned) come across flat? Much of this hinges on the person's expressive behavior, in particular nonverbal behavior. Politicians and executives preparing for public roles typically seek training in "leadership presence" from communications specialists. Approaches based on acting techniques are helpful for projecting strength and warmth in one's voice, cadence, stance, gestures, and facial expression. This workshop gives you an opportunity to sample this practical training in techniques for self-presentation and to learn the research evidence behind how such techniques work. John Neffinger of KNP Communications will lead the "practice" component, drawing on their experience training members of Congress and Fortune 100 executives. Professor Adam Galinsky will lead a briefer "research" component, drawing on his own research linking mind, body, and behavior. This will be followed by a Q&A with both the practice and science experts about related topics

About the Speakers

John Neffinger has a decade of experience preparing speakers and speeches for public audiences. He has trained Congressional candidates, expert guests on national TV programs and corporate executives. In the 2008 election cycle, John worked more than two dozen Congressional candidates and served as a regular commentator on MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews. Prior to co-founding KNP, John served as Director of Communications & Outreach at Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. He previously worked as a management consultant, preparing and delivering presentations on strategic issues for executives at more than a hundred major corporations in the U.S. and overseas. John has also served on the staff of the Council on Foreign Relations, where he worked for former National Economic Advisor Gene Sperling. As an attorney, John practiced litigation and intellectual property law with a top-10 New York firm. He holds honors degrees from Harvard College and Columbia Law School.

Professor Adam Galinsky is currently the Vikram S. Pandit Professor of Business at the Columbia Business School at Columbia University. He received his Ph.D. from Princeton University and his B.A from Harvard University. His research and teaching focus on leadership, power, negotiations, decision-making, diversity, and ethics. He has published more than 150 scientific articles, chapters, and teaching cases in the fields of management and social psychology.. His research has received national and international recognition from the scientific community. His dissertation received the Most Outstanding Dissertation from the International Association for Conflict Management. He has received grants from the National Science Foundation and the American Psychological Association. He is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. In 2012, Professor Galinsky was selected as one of the World’s 50 Best B-School Professors by Poets and Quants. He twice won the Chair’s Core Course teaching award at Kellogg for teaching excellence on the topic of leadership. He also received a teaching award at Princeton University. In 2011, Professor Galinsky received the Ver Steeg Distinguished Research Fellow at Northwestern University, which is awarded to only one faculty member each year across the university. It recognizes “a Northwestern faculty member whose research and scholarship is so outstanding as to enhance the reputation of Northwestern, nationally and internationally.”  He is frequently cited in the media. His research and insights have appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The New Yorker, National Public Radio, Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, Boston Globe and Chicago Tribune. His work on auctions was cited in the 2006 Ideas of the Year by the New York Times Magazine.