All it takes is a hint of fear of being in the spotlight and your unconscious body response will be to shut down and collapse in on itself, setting off a spiral of doom for a speaker - hunched shoulders, more tension, shallow breathing, self-doubt, surging stress hormones and ultimately a shrunken sense of personal presence.
Oy! All that preparation for a powerful talk now consumed by your body’s stress hormones, overcome with a racing heart, feeling overwhelmed, stumbling to find your words...
This is why taking command over your breath and cultivating an expanded body presence will make all the difference so that you can stand strong in your Powerful Personal Presence. With these directed, conscious steps, you can override your body’s desire to collapse and instead guide yourself to actually take up even more space in the room.
Follow these six steps and feel your Embodied Personal Presence expand.
Ground - Feel your feet on the floor while you breath slowly and deeply through your nose into your belly, guiding the long exhale down into the ground through your feet.
Lengthen - Pull your body upright, lengthening your neck and torso as if someone is tugging on a string from the top of your head.
Expand Your Width - Notice the outsides of your feet, the tips of your shoulders and the outer edges of your ears.
Open Your Peripheral Vision - This expands your awareness and presence into the space around you so you can take up more energetic space.
Feel Your Back - Literally feel the shirt on your back and have gratitude for how far you have come, and for your teachers and ancestors.
Feel Your Front Body - Fill out the space between your front and back body. This is your depth. Now, affirm your commitment to you and your audience. For this, create a commitment statement and say it to yourself. Here are some examples: “I’m a commitment to being a bold and inspiring leader; I'm a commitment to motivating my team; I'm a commitment to playful, authentic speaking.”
All of this will help to give you a strong sense of Self so you can exude a Powerful Personal Presence while you share your message and make a bigger impact.
Remember, people will never forget the first impression you make. So make it a good one! Your presence speaks louder than words - always.