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Essential Speaking Skills
All about the art of public speaking.

Introducing the Foundations of Presence Part II - Ground Yourself

If this is the first time you are visiting this blog, welcome! This week I am focusing my posts on how you can activate your stage presence and command the listening of your audience. So before you read this post, you may want to start with the following posts:

Backtracking >>>
Stage Presence: A gift for the lucky few?
Introducing the Foundations of Presence Part 1 - Stay Present!

Great! How did the relaxation technique come along? What are some of the immediate effects you experience? Remember, like any technique or tool, its effectiveness comes from daily practices. So keep working on it until it becomes second nature.

Here’s another simple, yet effective exercise that you can try to enhance your stage presence. (derived from Peak Performance Presentations). It is better known as the Grounding Exercise which is widely practiced by actors and actresses. The principle behind it is the same - awareness! From the outside, when someone is grounded, he is seen as confident. On the inside, a grounded person feels strong, solid and supported. As Olivier aptly puts it: You feel as if you have the right to be there.

You should do the grounding exercise standing. Each lasts for no more than five minutes.

Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and parallel. Balance the weight evenly between the front and the back of your foot. Make sure your knees are relaxed. We block our energies by bracing our knees. Start to push your feet into the ground, gently and slowly at first. Gradually, increase the speed and firmness of the contact.

If it helps, imagine that you have roots coming from the sole of your foot. They go down through the floor, through the foundations of the building and down into the earth below.

The beauty of the exercise is that you can do this anytime you want, without anyone noticing. However a slight caution. As you ground yourself, keep your upper body straight and relaxed. If you feel stiff, then you are doing it wrong. The purpose of the grounding exercise is to create a solid base (i.e. your support). Once that is achieved through the above steps, let your weight drop, so that your legs start to support you the way it is designed to.

Got it? As usual, find opportunities to practice it. A couple of minutes before your presentation, practice the relaxation technique that I shared with you in the earlier post. When you are called on stage, take your time to walk to the center stage. Ground yourself and then do your thing! Let me know how it goes.

“Introducing the Foundations of Presence Part II - Ground Yourself”