Elevate Your Executive Presence – 5 Tips To Stepping It Up At The Work Christmas Party

What happens at the work Christmas party stays at the work Christmas party, right…? Wrong. With employers and colleagues often connected on social media, your work function decorum has never been more important. In fact, end-of-year functions are the perfect opportunity to reinforce your personal brand and elevate your Executive Presence.

Here are my 5 tips to stepping it up at the work Christmas party:

  1. You are always your brand

It doesn’t matter where you go — always stay on brand. A Christmas “party” is still a work function with clients and colleagues, therefore your behaviour needs to remain work-appropriate. Your brand does not have an on/off switch that you can turn off at the work Christmas party. Remember that your brand needs to remain consistent with who you are and congruent with the company brand as well.

  1. Moderate your drinking

Image, behaviour and reputation are vital components of Executive Presence. To maintain decorum and professionalism, take it easy on the alcohol. If you are drinking, be sure to alternate between water, alcohol and food. Too much alcohol can quickly turn ‘fresh and elegant’ into ‘sloppy and messy’, so stick to your limit.

  1. Keep it classy

Your festive attire can be fun or fancy if you like, but remember that the office Christmas party is still a work function so dress appropriately. Avoid skirts that are too short, clothing that is too tight, see-through clothing or garments that show your cleavage. Be a lady with class.

  1. Choose the right shoes

I love a pair of killer heels, they can really add style and personality (and height!) to an outfit. But your killer heels need to be comfortable and secure, especially if you plan to have a couple of drinks at the end-of-year function. A wide heel or wedge can provide stability, and an ankle strap can help prevent you slipping out of your heels. For the most secure option, try a stylish boot.

  1. Put your phone away and engage

Resist the temptation to text or post photos during the work Christmas party. Phone obsession will diminish your Executive Presence, so focus on traditional social networking instead. Make great eye contact and converse with people. Leverage on the festive atmosphere by connecting with your colleagues and celebrating everything you have accomplished together throughout the year.


Melissa Lewis, Founder of The Ascension Group is regarded as the leading expert on ‘the power of a woman’s presence’. She works with female talent to elevate their Executive Presence so they can achieve the career rewards and recognition they deserve. At the heart of her work is the knowledge that it’s not a lack of talent holding them back, but the way they are perceived by others. Her tailored approach includes using the world’s only science-based assessment tool for Executive Presence, (Bates Communications’ EXPITM) her own proprietary diagnostic tool PQ®(Presence Quotient®), workshops, keynote speaking, image consulting and one-on-one coaching. She has worked alongside leaders from organisations such as KPMG, Telstra, Amex, Bendigo Bank, CBUS Superannuation, Eventbrite, Coles just to name a few.