Have you ever encounter speakers who have incredible stage presence and can mesmerize the audience just by being on stage? There is an indescribable aura or energy around the speaker that simply commands your attention. He draws you into his speech almost immediately and it takes ten Hercules to break the connection. Hours turn to minutes and minutes turn to seconds. When the speaker leaves the stage, you feel the inexplicable sense of disappointment.
Imagine if this speaker is you! Every speech you give will be mind blowing and you will have the audience eating from your hands as you desire. Now, won’t that be a gift you will die for?
In Richard Olivier’s book Peak Performance Presentations, he reasoned that Presence is the foundation of all good presentations. When a speaker has Presence, he delivers his material with confidence, energy and conviction; and the audience are naturally engaged and receptive.
To bring this further, a speaker with Presence owns the stage. When he comes up on stage, he is in charge. Every inch of the room belongs to him. Every single one of his audience is obliged to drop everything that they are doing and listen to him. Even the waiters and waitresses will stop at their steps and listen to him. In other words, nothing else matters except him.
However a lot of speakers are far from being present. They stumble onto the stage, soaked in their nervousness and self doubt. They begin their speech with either a series of pause filler (um.. I think urm… I will, I will start…) or worse, an apology. Some will rush into their speech like a bullet train and then splutter near to the end like an old worn-out car engine. You will also get some speakers who will unbashfully ignore you the entire time or execute extremely distracting body gestures that make you wonder if that’s part of the “show”.
So is Presence a gift that only the lucky few possess? I think not. I believe that everyone has it in us. All we got to do is to learn how to activate it. For the next few posts, I will share with you various practical techniques that will have you command the listening of your audience in no time. Who knows, you might be the next star on stage!