At A Glance

Course Features

Leaders with executive presence inspire others through how they carry and express themselves in the workplace. Enhance your influence in your organization by developing professional qualities to lead a confident team in an ever-changing business world.

In this three-day course, we will examine the 10 characteristics found to be determinates of EP and adopt verbal and nonverbal communication skills that elevate others’ perceptions of our leadership ability. In addition, key analytical constructs (such as neurodiversity, race, ethnicity, gender and socioeconomic status) will be studied, focusing on how they impact instruction, assessment, and leadership.

Participants will interactively practice leading and participating in difficult conversations through low-stakes situations. They will develop strategies to fine-tune communication, thereby reducing anxiety and frustration in articulating ideas and finding solutions.

The use of principles, tools, practices, skills, visualizations, and mindsets are aimed at accelerating professional development, creativity and innovation, and meaningful change.

Executive Presence can be taken as a standalone course or as a prerequisite for the Executive Certificate in Organizational Leadership.

Key takeaways

  • Impression Management techniques
  • Ten characteristics of executive presence
  • People-centered language
  • Power sharing strategies
  • Empathetic presence
  • Difficult conversations playbook
  • Augmented mental preparation
  • Self-awareness and mindfulness-based anxiety management
  • Improvisation skills
  • Professional self-advocacy pitch

Course Schedule

Day 1 in-person

9 a.m.–Noon

  • Perceptions of Executive Presence
  • Impression Management
  • 2014 Study on EP
  • Lunch

1–4 p.m. (or 1–3 p.m. class with last hour to work on assignment)

  • Findings – 10 characteristics of EP
  • Nonverbal Aspects of Projecting Confidence
  • Assignment – Follow instructions to construct a 60–90 second “personal advocacy pitch”

Day 2 in-person

9 a.m.–Noon with Carl

  • 9 a.m. Defining Your Voice: participants will develop a deeper understanding of the biomechanics of voice production to coordinate more effective public speaking and self-awareness.
  • 10 a.m. Yes, And!: acquire and implement a variety of improvisatory techniques through exercises designed to expand the participants imagination and expressive power. Rooted in impulse, spontaneity, and creativity, the improvisations will lead you to new and unfamiliar methods of expression.
  • 11 a.m. Peak Performance: integrate findings from across domains in performance psychology to leverage research on what influences peak and non-peak performance. Identify cognition-action interactions and perception-cognition interactions to effectively handle difficult critical conversations in real-time while maintaining executive presence.

1–4 p.m. with Alexa

  • 1–1:30: Holding Space Activity
  • 1:30–2 p.m.: Practice pitch in groups of 3-4
  • 2–2:30 p.m.: Pitch Delivery
  • 2:30–2:45 p.m.: Break
  • 2:45–3:15 p.m.: Feedback and Debrief Session
  • 3:15–4 p.m.: Class take-aways and continued learning resources


Alexa Chilcutt

Alexa Chilcutt, PhD

Executive Education Faculty, Carey Business School

Alexa S. Chilcutt, PhD has an MA in Public Relations and PhD in Communication and Information Sciences from The University of Alabama. With public relations work experience as a development director and spokesperson, previous research focused on impression management theory, organizational crisis management tactics, and leadership and team communication.

Alexa serves as the faculty lead for Johns Hopkins Carey Business School's Executive Education Business Communication Certificate program, and provides corporate custom training on the topics of interpersonal communication, impression management/executive presence, and professional public speaking skills.

Dr. Chilcutt served as an associate professor of Communication Studies and the director of the Public Speaking program at The University of Alabama from 2010 to 2021. Publications include “Engineered to Speak: Helping You Create and Deliver Engaging Technical Presentations” for Wiley Press’ IEEE PCS Professional Engineering Communication Series; articles in Public Relations Journal, Workplace Health & Safety, MedEdPORTAL, Journal of American Dental Association (JADA), the National Association of General Dentistry’s Impact Magazine, and Georgia Academy of General Dentistry's Explorer Magazine.

Carl Dupont portrait

Carl DuPont, DMA

Executive Education Faculty, Carey Business School

Carl DuPont is an artist, innovator, and educator with a creative approach to improving peak performance for individuals, organizations, and communities. He leverages his expertise to implement strategic initiatives at the intersections of communications, diversity, equity, inclusion, access, and sustainability. This includes training, programming, and talent acquisition, executive presence, and utilizing holistic evidence-based solutions for organizations. His scalable strategies have been tailored to clients ranging from small cultural institutions to Fortune 100 companies.

DuPont’s unique approach draws on his experience as an international performer and published author, as well as his curiosity as a life-long learner to make the aspirational actionable. Highlights of a dynamic career include an internship in the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine Otolaryngology Department, published articles in The Laryngoscope and the Voice and Speech Review, and appearances in a recurring role on the German soap opera, Unter Uns. He has created artistic and scholarly presentations for venues in Mexico City, Salzburg, Rome, Stockholm, New York, and Miami. Most recently, the John F. Kennedy Center’s Washington National Opera tapped him to re-design and co-lead their national summer opera initiative focused on blending citizen artistry with elite training for high-school aged students.

An associate professor at the Johns Hopkins University, he delivers interactive workshops in the Carey Business School’s Executive Education department and one-on-one applied vocal instruction at the Peabody Institute. At Peabody, he developed a course on art song by African American composers, co-chaired the Culturally Inclusive Task Force, and served on the Anti-Racism, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. His efforts recently helped recruit the most diverse and highest-ranked student body in the school’s history; he is also a part of the team that earned a $1 million dollar grant to create the Pathways to PhD/DMA program. He achieved JHU’s Diversity Recognition Award in 2021 for his outstanding contributions in this area.

DuPont earned his Bachelor of Music degree at Eastman School of Music, his Master of Music degree at Indiana University, and his Doctor of Musical Arts the University of Miami. He has earned certificates in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Workplace from the University of South Florida; and Management Development and Financial Management, both from Johns Hopkins Carey Business School. He regularly sub-contracts with Diaz Inclusion Consulting and is the founder and CEO of DuPont Consulting, LLC.