Simply Said
Simply Said
Simply Said is the essential handbook for business communication.

Panel Discussion 10

Executive Presence


To celebrate 28 years of serving our clients, Exec-Comm moderated an interactive panel discussion about what presence is, why it’s important and how to build it for yourself and for those in your organization.

"You either have it or you don't." People often say this when they describe presence. That may be a true statement in the moment, but "it" can certainly be developed. In business and in life, when you want to sell, persuade, or inspire, the power of your presence is critical.

  • Jay Sullivan

    Jay Sullivan is the Managing Partner at Exec-Comm, and leads the firm’s Law Firm Group. He is an award-winning author and columnist, as well as an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown Law Center and Fordham University School of Law. His book, Simply Said: Communicating Better at Work and Beyond, was released by John Wiley & Sons in 2016, and has since been translated into Chinese, Korean, and Russian.  As a contributing writer for, Jay brings relevant and timely advice on enhancing one’s communication skills to the business community.

    Whether working with groups or in one-on-one coaching arrangements Jay helps professionals have greater impact by teaching them to focus on the needs of their audiences. Jay works closely with the learning and development professionals at many global law firms and financial services firms to customize communication skills solutions.

    Jay joined Exec-Comm after nine years as a practicing attorney. He received his J.D. from Fordham University School of Law in 1989. That year, Jay was named among the first class of Skadden Fellows by the Skadden Foundation. As a Skadden Fellow, Jay acted as in-house legal counsel at Covenant House, a crisis shelter for runaway and homeless teenagers. Following his Fellowship, Jay spent seven years practicing insurance law on behalf of Lloyds of London.

    After graduating from Boston College in 1984, Jay spent two years in the Jesuit International Volunteer Corps, teaching English. His book about that experience, Raising Gentle Men: Lives at the Orphanage Edge, was named the 2014 Best Book by a Small Publisher by the Catholic Press Association. Jay was a featured columnist on communication skills for the New York Law Journal, and has been published in Readers Digest, Catholic Digest, Parents Magazine, The Golfer, and The New York Times.

  • Jim Sterling

    With over 25 years of experience in the field of communications, Jim coaches executives to increase their impact as leaders. With clients such as EY and National Grid, Jim enjoys working with professionals in the US and across four continents. As a partner in the firm, Jim also leads Exec-Comm's Quality and Design committee, which brings premier programs to our clients.

    Before joining Exec-Comm in 2003, Jim worked with The Center to Promote Health Care Studies as part of the NYC Health and Hospital Corporation's noted effort to improve customer service.

    Through the Exec-Comm CARES foundation, Jim supports organizations like the International Rescue Committee and Junior Achievement of New York, helping leaders and staff present, meet, and write more effectively. He is an advisory board member to St. Mary's High School, located in Nyeri, Kenya, with a mission to support room, board, and tuition costs for orphans and students at the school.

    Jim holds a bachelor's degree in Drama from Dartmouth College, where he won the Marcus Heiman Award for outstanding achievement in the arts. Mr. Sterling has a successful stage and film career and is currently a member of New York's Axis Theatre Company. He makes Manhattan his home with his wife, Ros, and two boys, Owen and David. He embraces all things NYC, especially the theater scene, so if you need a show recommendation, he's your guy.

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