Updated: Oct 7, 2021
You might recognize that there is a Powerful Personal Presence that seems to emanate from effective leaders - some kind of special sauce that influences others before they even utter a word.
Have you ever wondered what it takes to master this kind of elusive juju that is so utterly challenging to describe, yet so easy to recognize in those who have it?
First of all, you must understand that it is an inside job and has nothing to do with effort. It is a cultivated presence, a way of being that when it lands simply radiates from within, naturally exuding authentic confidence that creates impact through the invisible airwaves whenever you are in front of people.
Here are the three keys I've discovered through my ten years as a speaker trainer that will help you to propagate this place inside of you. Ready?
Key #1 - Visualize Success - When you're preparing yourself to speak to a group, take the time to visualize a warm, receptive experience. This is a type of meditation that's great to do when you first wake up or right before going to sleep at night. Spend a few minutes a day with your eyes closed, seeing your audience absolutely loving what you have to say, you loving what you have to say, and actually receiving a standing ovation (yes, even if you think it would never happen!). Do this each day the week before your presentation, because your mind doesn't distinguish between something actually happening versus something you imagine is happening now.
This will help you feel calm and centered in addition to receiving the powerful benefits of visualization, and perhaps even getting that standing ovation! Research studies and great athletes have proven time and time again that your mind and body can naturally prepare you to excel during your next moment in the spotlight.
Key #2 - Make it about them - Take your focus off of yourself, access your heart and your "why," and direct your attention to being in service to your audience. When speaking to one or many, your job is to educate, motivate or inspire with what you have to share; it's not really about you. When you can create an experience within yourself where caring for your audience and giving them the gift of your wisdom is the most important thing, you will feel more yourself.
By speaking from your heart and being in service, your jitters will naturally calm, and the best part is that you'll forget all about being judged. :-)
Key #3 - Alternate Nostril Breathing - Practice alternate nostril breathing just a few minutes before giving a talk or whenever you would like to feel more at peace. This ancient yogic practice will actually calm the stress response in your body and lower your heart rate, so you feel grounded and present when it's time to speak.
Begin by covering your right nostril with your right thumb, inhaling through the left nostril while holding the right side closed. Next, remove your thumb from the right nostril and cover your left nostril with your ring finger. Exhale through your right nostril only. Now, breath in through the right nostril and exhale through the left nostril. Continue this process, alternating inhaling and exhaling through one nostril at a time. You will find it deeply relaxing and centering when you repeat this process for three to five minutes.