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What is Poise?

The following is an excerpt from Sue Currie’s recent newsletter titled Presidential Poise. As a career coach and speaker, I usually discuss some of Sue’s points with clients when I meet with them one-on-one, when I facilitate workshops, or when I speak to groups. I cover topics like poise, self-confidence, public speaking, dress code, mannerisms, etc. Over the next few days, with permission from Sue Currie, I’ll reprint segments of her article. Here’s the first segment:

“According to former Australian Prime Minister, Paul Keating in an article in The Australian, one of the attributes that sets Obama apart is his poise.

What is poise? According to various dictionaries it means calm self-assured dignity, ease of manner and assurance, especially in dealing with social situations. Also, a graceful controlled way of standing, moving or performing in action. Equilibrium, a stable state of balance. Going further into the Thesaurus these words and phrases come up also, mental poise, intelligence and wisdom.

Poise is a very desirable personal brand attribute. Here are a few tips to help you include and exude this trait into your personal brand:

Self confidence. Displaying self-confidence and self-assurance is easier said than done. However, a leader or someone in control shows re-assurance to others. They take an interest, listen and make the first move to initiate conversation, putting other people at ease. Obama uses encouraging words of hope and a future to look forward to. He has a warm, genuine smile. His words, actions and manner are comforting and reassuring.”

Next post will be How to Speak well with Composure.

Sue Currie, the director of Shine Communications Consultancy and author of Apprentice to Business Ace – your inside-out guide to personal branding, is a business educator and speaker on personal branding through image and media. To learn more about how you can achieve recognition, enhance your image and shine, sign up for free monthly tips at