ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Develop Gravitas

Updated on March 4, 2020
Margaret Pan profile image

Margaret has been learning how expanding certain skills can help her advance both her professionalism and her career.

What Is Gravitas?

The meaning of the word "gravitas" has its roots in Ancient Rome. More specifically, gravitas was one of the Roman virtues, a characteristic every Roman citizen was encouraged to develop. When it came to men in leadership however, gravitas was considered an essential trait. It can be translated as a high seriousness, dignity and solemnity. Today, when we say that someone has gravitas, we mean that they look serious and responsible, committed to their work and in control of what they're doing; they are people we respect and trust.


Apart from being a desideratum for someone who aspired to take a leadership role, gravitas was also an essential virtue for Roman citizens in order to embody "romanitas", the political and cultural practices that defined them.

Why Is Gravitas Important?

Gravitas is an important trait every aspiring individual should have. It's considered one of the most important characteristics needed to have a successful career. Why is that? Well, for starters, gravitas allows you to command respect. Whether you need your boss, your colleagues or your employees to show more respect for you, an enhanced gravitas will help you to do so. Furthermore, when a person has gravitas, he gives other people the impression that he has confidence in himself and his capabilities. As a result, others will not only be likely to trust them more easily and quickly but also be more eager to do business with them. It can also override other important factors such as a person's academic qualifications or work experience.

How Can I Develop Gravitas?

Have you ever been told that you lack gravitas? Or maybe you simply feel it would be a good idea for you to develop it after reading all of the above? Well, fear no more! There are some steps you can take and some things you can change so that you enhance your gravitas:

•Always be well-dressed

•Be careful of your body language

•Choose the right words depending on your topic and your audience

•Take your time while speaking

•Learn to control your emotions

•Don't be too hard on yourself


Always Be Well-Dressed

No matter how clever and hardworking you are or how important are your academic qualifications and skills, if you show up at a work meeting with dirty, inappropriate clothes, no one is going to take you seriously. Thus, you need to make sure that you always wear clean, ironed, non-provocative clothes, that conform to established professional standards. Keep in mind that the way you dress says a lot about your character, so your clothes need to give people the impression of a serious, responsible person. Suits are always a great choice.

Being well-dressed is a beautiful form of politeness.

— Coco Chanel

Be Careful of Your Body Language

Body language is a form of nonverbal communication, which constitutes more than 60% of our overall communication and can tell a lot about what a person thinks or feels. From giving a speech to an audience to explaining your ideas to a potential business partner, it is important that you always maintain a good posture, by sitting up straight, with your shoulders down. This will allow you to emit confidence and make a good impression whereas people will listen to you more carefully and become more likely to agree with your ideas.


Choose the Right Words Depending on Your Topic and Your Audience

Your verbal skills are another thing you'll need to work on in order to develop your gravitas. Depending on your audience and the topic you want to discuss, it is necessary that you choose the right words, which will help you communicate your ideas in a more effective way. For example, if you're planning on giving a speech to an academic audience, a strong, diverse vocabulary will certainly help to impress them, whereas if you're about to speak in front of a crowd of people you shouldn't be too academic but rather use simple words which will most accurately describe your ideas.

Let thy speech be better than silence, or be silent.

— Dionysius of Halicarnassus

Take Your Time While Speaking

As mentioned above, speaking skills are an essential key not only to achieving career advancement but also to commanding respect and admiration from others. Another important factor when it comes to those skills, it's the pace at which you speak. Thus, you should ensure that you speak at a reasonable pace, since peaking too slow will result in people being bored and uninterested in what you're saying while if you speak too fast they won't be able to follow and understand you.


Do You Tend to Get Nervous Before Giving a Speech?

See results

Learn to Control Your Emotions

When it comes to a developed gravitas, emotional control is another trait you should be focusing on. This trait has two sides. On the one hand, it is important that you learn to leave your personal issues at home. Fights, breakups, financial stress or family issues are things you should leave behind when you're at your work environment or else they will prevent you from becoming successful. On the other hand, when you're having a work meeting for example, and people disagree with your ideas and the atmosphere is tense, you should be able to remain calm. Yelling and being rude is never a solution to disagreements. Instead, remaining calm, putting aside your concerns and working together is the right path to success.


Don't Be Too Hard On Yourself

Rome wasn't built in a day. It takes time and effort to achieve your goals and become successful. My advise is to be patient and not to be too hard on yourself. It is impossible to reach success overnight, so you should allow yourself to take the amount of time you need in order to expand your skills and increase your gravitas. And always remember: the one who insists, wins.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Margaret Pan


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Margaret Pan profile imageAUTHOR

      Margaret Pan 

      4 weeks ago from Athens

      Thank you, Carolyn! I definitely agree with your point!

    • Carolyn M Fields profile image

      Carolyn Fields 

      4 weeks ago from South Dakota, USA

      Very good article - some great tips. Words, tone, and body language are all important. If I could add one thing it would be to read constantly and have a grasp on current affairs. Have an opinion, and don't be shy about stating it. If you don't know what's going on in the world, it's difficult to command respect.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)