I recently spoke at a Global Women In Tech Conference in Dublin and was asked if I would share my key messages on our blog.
“Owning your Space with Presence” so here goes – You’ve no excuse now!
For those reading but didn’t attend the conference https://www.women-in-tech-dublin.com/ I’ve summarised some key messages to give you an understanding of What is Presence. This will also act as a reminder for all those who attended and tried out the techniques.
- Imagine instantly improving and transforming your speaking style, simply by controlling your voice and body deliberately.
- Imagine influencing and engaging your audience in the strongest way with messages are strong and engaging.
- What would that mean to you personally and for your business success?
We were all born with presence – it’s in our muscle memory
My big message from the outset of this talk was – if you want to discover what is Presence and build on your presence in your work place – understand that we were all born with presence – we were not aware of this of course! As we move into adulthood we loose this presence – life experiences, stress and tensions all play their part in loosing this presence but know that it is within us and we can access it once again
(1) Understand what your Posture is saying about you
This is key for establishing strong personal presence. Knowledge of when your body is balanced and centered is vital for insuring a strong physical and vocal presence. It is important we understand the connection between body and voice and our listeners.
Always be aware of your posture – standing, sitting or moving.
Move with energy, move with intention – but aware of your posture. Stand tall.
Exercise: Achieving Neutral Posture
- Standing – think tall, open and lengthening. The feet are parallel and hipbone width apart, knees should be unlocked.
- The weight of the hips is directly over the feet
- Spine is not slumped or rigid.
- Start to work tension out of the shoulders, neck and face.
- Smile and open the jaw – soften your jaw, unclench the teeth, tongue relaxed on the floor of the mouth.
- Think of your crown as the highest point – growing up to the ceiling – loosen upwards.
- Abdominal area should feel released.
- As you breathe there is little/no shoulder or upper chest movement.
- By placing your hands on belly – allow the breath to drop low – this is your physical centre.
(2) “Own your Space” – Give time to establish your presence
Take a moment to ground yourself before you begin – it’s important to feel physically secure both for your physical presence and your vocal delivery.
Exercise Owning your Space:
- Ground yourself you need to think about your posture
- Look Give yourself time to be ready to communicate to your audience
- Breathe Give yourself time to breathe before you begin.
(3) Breathing – Why it is critically important to achieving personal presence ?
To achieve a sense a calmness, composure and natural ease with we communicate it is vital that we understand the role breath plays.
One of the only ways to release tension, stress and nerves is to breathe correctly.
Incorrect breathing limits the voice we use to speak. To have a strong, resonant and efficient voice it is crucial we are breathing correctly.
A deep breath is not how much air we take into our body but how deep in the body it goes.
Voice is powered by breath, so it is vital that you understand how to breathe to ensure strong vocal presence.
Exercise Connecting breath with voice
First become physically centered as above
- Place your hands or a book on your belly
- Let the in-breath find its natural rhythm
- Encourage the release of the shoulders and abdominal muscles
- Now begin to tune into your own breath and using your awareness to focus your breath deep and low in the body.
- There is no movement in the shoulders or upper chest area.
On the out breath, make the following sounds:
/FFFFF /VVVV/ /SSSS/ /ZZZZ/ /MMM/
Feel the breath connecting with sound (you will probably need some guidance with this)
(4) Connect emotionally with your message – Showing up Authentically
The reality is that any audience will connect and engage with people who are truly themselves. Even if you are delivering an status update or technical information your audience really gets a sense that you truly believes your message.
Once there is authenticity in your message, then strong vocal techniques will be easier to access.
When you deliver a business presentation, how authentic are you with your audience? Or do you drop into presenter mode? Because, so many do.
Ahead of your next presentation/communication, consider these two questions carefully:
- What do you feel about your message to the audience?
- What do you want your audience to feel about your message?
“Feel?” I hear you ask!
Not what you want them to know and understand, but what you want them to FEEL.
Do you want them to feel excited, curious, frustrated, sad? Whatever that feeling is, you need to think carefully about it, as it needs to be conveyed in your vocal delivery.
(5) The Importance of Power words: What They Are, and How to Make Them Powerful
All words are not created equally.
When we speak we do not pronounce each and every word and syllable with the same importance.
If you want your audience to listen and engage then you need to understand
- What are power words, and
- How to give these power words the power!
Power words are the 1-3 words in each phase or sentence that absolutely reduce it down to its basic meaning.
They communicate the essence of what we are saying.
These words require more time more emphasis, more vocal importance, if they are to resonate with the audience.
You need to be authentically communicating your message. To be really connected to and truly believe your message.
- Change of volume: Either increases or decreases volume on specific power words
- Pitch variation: Change the pitch on certain power words to highlight and bring importance to them—make them stand out
- Articulation: Overly articulate certain consonants in the power words to bring the word out further—lest the audience forget!
- Change of pace: Speed up and then slows down on power words/phrases.
- Pause: Pause before or after key power words
Try combinations of any of the above. They are vital to a strong vocal delivery – that will be listened to and understood by your audience.
OK! so there you go! enjoy the read and drop us a like if you’d like to understand more.
Where this work can bring value to you:
- Ensure an increase in confidence and credibility when communicating with key decision makers, leadership and clients
- When clients communicate with confidence, gravitas and authority they are more empowered to grow in their roles, achieve targets, have greater productivity and ultimately achieve business growth
- Ensure greater clarity to communicate the right message in the best way possible so clients are engage, inspire and influence audiences
- Build greater confidence and credibility will enhance business and personal brand and reputation which is key in today’s competitive market
- Build greater connection with audiences, customers and colleagues, resulting in building more effective, sustainable business relationships
ConfidentSpeak is a specialist S.T.E.M Communications & Coaching Consultancy based in Dublin, Ireland. We work with leading Irish and international companies and executives at home and abroad. Contact us for details on our range of corporate/private programmes for executives, sales teams and technical professionals.