Suzanne Bates

Executive presence and leadership expert and author of 4 books, including All the Leader You Can Be and Motivate Like a CEO






Suzanne Bates is the CEO of Bates, a firm with a mission to help leaders shape the world. The firm is distinguished in the field of leadership development for its ground breaking research and practical approach to helping leaders develop executive presence. As a coach

to some of the world’s top executives, her passion is helping leaders align, engage, and move people to drive results for their organizations and the world around them. Suzanne’s latest book is All the Leader You Can Be: The Science of Achieving Extraordinary Executive Presence (McGraw Hill, 2016). The book reveals the first-ever research-based model of executive presence, which Bates and her team have operationalized in the scientifically validated assessment tool, the Bates ExPI™. Leaders and organizations around the globe have adopted the Bates ExPI as a rich, multi-dimensional framework for measuring the way individual leaders influence and make an impact to drive business results.

Suzanne launched the firm in 2000 after a successful career as a television journalist in major markets including Boston, Philadelphia and Tampa-St. Petersburg. Suzanne’s years as an on-air personality with major market television stations WBZ-TV Boston, WCAU-TV Philadelphia and WFLA-TV Tampa-St. Petersburg put her at the center of major news stories with the opportunity to interview thousands of political leaders, CEOs, business people, authors and celebrities. She won an AP News Award and was part of a team that won the Columbia DuPont, the highest award in journalism.

In 2005 she published her first book, Speak Like a CEO: Secrets for Commanding Attention and Getting Results (McGraw Hill), which went to #6 on the bestseller charts on, and is now published in 7 languages including Chinese, Russian and Indonesian. Her other books, Motivate Like a CEO: Communicate Your Strategic Vision and Inspire People to Act!, and Discover Your CEO Brand: Secrets for Embracing and Maximizing Your Unique Value as a Leader, were also published by McGraw Hill and quickly became business bestsellers.

Her firm’s roster of senior executive clients is a who’s who of top global companies that turn to Bates for advice, consulting, executive coaching and expertise in the field of executive presence and communicative leadership.

Today as a nationally recognized expert in leadership, Suzanne has appeared in hundreds of publications including the New York Times, Forbes Magazine, Business Week, Investors’ Business Daily, the New York Post, Wall St. Journal, and, and on countless television programs including the Today Show, Fox Business Morning, New England Cable News, CBS Radio, and more.

Keynote Presentations

Align, Inspire, and Move People to Act! The 15 Indisputable Qualities of Executive Presence

What is executive presence, and why does it matter? Intuitively, leaders know it’s an important success factor. Sometimes it’s described as presentation skill, polish, charisma or professional image. However, these descriptions fail to acknowledge the deeper-level facets that enable leaders to align, inspire, and move people to act. In this keynote session, Suzanne will reveal new, breakthrough research on the essential qualities of executive presence and influence. Drawing from her new book, All the Leader You Can Be: The Science of Achieving Extraordinary Executive Presence (McGraw Hill 2016), you’ll gain an understanding on how to influence decisions, engage hearts and minds, and mobilize above and beyond effort from people.

Executive Presence and Character: The Fundamental Qualities of Leadership that Drive Trust and Goodwill

Leadership development teams often wonder how to broach the subject of “executive presence” when assessing or developing leaders in their organization. EP is essential for asserting influence, driving change, and achieving performance, but its definition has traditionally been elusive. In this session, Suzanne Bates, author of the new book All the Leader You Can Be: The Science of Achieving Extraordinary Executive Presence (McGraw Hill March 2016), will facilitate an engaging discussion around the proven qualities of executive presence.

Women Leaders and Executive Presence: The Surprising Truth About How Women Can Level the Playing Field and Leverage their Unique Strengths

If you’re a woman in leadership, at some point in your career the discussion has likely defaulted to your executive presence. In many organizations, executive presence is a mysterious “X Factor” – it’s important, but what is it? More importantly, how do you leverage it to make an impact and drive outcomes? Through extensive research, Suzanne Bates and her team have cracked the code on executive presence and redefined it in a way that levels the playing field for women leaders. As highlighted in her new book, All the Leader You Can Be: The Science of Achieving Extraordinary Executive Presence (McGraw Hill 2016), Suzanne and her team identified the 15 distinct qualities that enable leaders to engage, align, and inspire people to act. In this session, Suzanne reveals the surprising truths about how women leaders are perceived in these critical qualities of executive presence – including confidence, assertiveness, and resonance. This energizing and interactive keynote program busts the conventional wisdom that women’s leadership development can be done with a “one size fits all” approach.

Developing Leaders with Influence: Secrets for Coaching Executives and Teams Who Drive Change and Inspire Action

Today’s executives and leaders are facing rapidly changing work environments, with increasingly global organizations, remote teams, and multi-generational workforces. As traditional approaches to leadership become obsolete, how do leaders ensure their teams are still engaged, motivated, and aligned? And how can talent professionals provide coaching and development strategies to help leaders drive change and inspire action in the face of these new realities? Recent research has identified three distinct dimensions of executive presence and influence – Character, Substance, and Style. Within these dimensions are 15 specific qualities that help leaders win trust, build credibility, and encourage productive dialogue among their teams. These leadership qualities – including Authenticity, Humility, Resonance, Inclusiveness and Intentionality – can be developed and amplified by any leader. In this session, Suzanne Bates will provide talent development professionals with practical, actionable tips for creating coaching and development strategies that enable leaders to build influence and presence.

Cultivating Innovation: The Leadership Behaviors that Foster Creativity and Drive

Innovation is no longer just an objective for creative teams or R&D departments. Today, every leader in every function must continuously drive innovation, whether it’s by inventing groundbreaking products that generate demand or designing internal processes that create efficiencies. As a leader, how do you foster a culture of innovation among your team to create value for your organization? In this discussion, Bates reveals new research on the very specific, often ignored leadership qualities that shape an environment of continual innovation. The exciting news is you don’t need to have vast technical know-how or a knack for creativity. The key is championing innovation through your people by aligning people around goals, promoting interactivity and collaboration, and creating a space for creative thinking. Learn practical actions you can take immediately to create a team culture that supports innovation.

Suzanne Bates Testimonials

“Suzanne is a vibrant, informative speaker whose enthusiasm for presenting to a large group inspires their attention and participation. Ms. Bates had an ability to connect with her audience and stay connected for the duration of her work with them.”
Vice President and Chief Learning Officer, Raytheon

“Suzanne’s eloquent style, ability to read the audience, movement on the podium, charisma, and superior content all contributed to an outstanding overall presentation.”

Executive Director, Massachusetts Association of School Committees, Inc.

“Suzanne is a master of straight talk – she was right on and to the point. She established an atmosphere of frankness and openness among all the participants.”

Program Director, The Commonwealth Institute

“Suzanne Bates was magic. She was able to craft a message for our audience that combined her body of expertise with their immediate needs. Her delivery was exemplary. By combining humor, examples, and an informal but highly focused presentation, she demonstrated her command of communications principles and gave her audience immediately useful take-aways. True learning took place. The audience left feeling excited and motivated.”

VP, Execunet

“Suzanne Bates did an especially nice job getting an important message out to everyone in the room and did it with the perfect blend of charm and humor!”

Executive Director, Associated Industries of Massachusetts

“Suzanne hit a chord with our group. Her energetic and interactive presentation on corporate communication provided useful knowledge and insight for entry-level practitioners and the most seasoned professionals. I only wish we could have spent more time benefiting from her expertise and passion.”

Head, Board of Directors, PRSA - Madison, WI Chapter

“The evaluation results for Ms. Bates’ presentation were exceptional. Our members were actively engaged throughout the session due to Ms. Bates interactive presentation style and her dynamic speaking ability. We received numerous comments regarding Suzanne’s use of a variety of techniques that kept them engaged while providing helpful tools to impact their professional lives.”

CEO/President, CREW Network & Foundation

“Ms. Bates has been a speaker at Linkage’s Women in Leadership Summit for the last 3 years. She is invited back year after year because she consistently receives outstanding evaluation scores while providing value to our audience. I would recommend her to any group!”
Program Director & Manager of Conferences, Linkage

“Suzanne Bates’ competitive advantage is experience before the camera and expertise on what you have to do on a practical basis. She is hands-on and real. She really knows what will work and what doesn’t. She’s the best I’ve ever worked with.”
Director, Strategic Communications, Babson College

“We received very positive feedback on your seminar. Participants left with insight and next steps to elevating their Executive Presence. Your presentation combined the perfect amount of instruction and engagement of the audience – for that, we are most appreciative!”

Programs Manager, Boston Chamber of Commerce

“Suzanne was dynamic, on target, and one with the audience. Her presentation was to the point, timely, concise, and expertly offered.”

Program Head, New England Women Business Owners

“Her style was as terrific as her message. She was upbeat, conversational, personable and energetic. We got top marks for scheduling Suzanne.”

President, Society of Professional Consultants

Testimonials from the Conference Board 2016 Women’s Leadership Conference:

“Energizing! Exactly thought-provoking.”

Executive Director. Packaging Head of Categories and Innovation, Avon Products, Inc.

“Engaging, helpful, incredibly positive… wish it was longer.”

Director of Human Resources, Fidelity Investments

“Very energetic, interesting and fact based.”

Director, Operations, Communications and Customer Service, AutoZone, Inc.

“Awesome speaker!”

Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer, Tupperware Brands Corporation

“Great Energy!”

VP, BDE Global Diversity & Inclusion and Supplier Diversity, Boeing Company