Alright, it’s time to talk about stage presence.
It’s not just for being on stage like when you're hosting a TED Talk or when you’re the leader at speaking engagements. On a deeper level, stage presence is about how you present yourself daily.
How are you pitching yourself? How are you representing your skills, interests, and personality? Do you capture your audience’s attention and keep them engaged?
The way I see it, these are the real implications of stage presence. While I was thinking about all of this, I couldn’t help but think about my experiences speaking on stage in front of large crowds.
From Stage Fright to Owning the Stage
In the past, I used to be paralyzed when speaking in front of any audience.
I was a prime case of public speaking anxiety. If you know me, you know that I can maintain a lively conversation with just about anyone — but it was a whole different world when I was up on stage in front of a crowd.
It’s About the Audience, Not You
I was like this until I had an epiphany: nothing I’m talking about is about ME.
When I realized that it’s not about me, I was able to move into a new mode of thinking. Instead of worrying about myself, I was concerned for the audience.
I wanted them to derive the most out of the time they dedicated to hearing me speak. I wanted them to walk away with something valuable. I wanted them to learn, feel heard, and expand their thinking.
This helped me alleviate the fear because I wasn’t so caught up in my own ego. Now, when I change the narrative to ‘all I’m here for is to help someone else’ — that’s the motivation. That’s how I can deliver.
Believe In Your Message
I also learned that your stage presence improves when you believe your message. If you have a big belief in it, you’re able to represent your message authentically. And people resonate with authenticity.
Your delivery will be more natural and it won’t be as hard to improvise. You’ll be able to convey your own truth, and others can feel that if they choose.
The Audience Is There For a Reason
Remembering that the audience came to learn something from you will help you get the perspective needed to cut through any of those lingering worries.
Tactically, I view the audience as people who came to me to learn. This immediately takes the edge off because it reminds me that we’re all human. They came to learn and I came to share.
They’re Not Judging, They’re Enjoying
Understanding that your audience did not come to judge you is imperative to feeling comfortable, or at least pretending you are.
Like I said, they came to learn and you came to share. It’s a symbiotic moment and they’re not going to be picking apart you and all of your words. They’re going to be flowing with you, not against you.
This can help you feel better and more natural as you’re in front of the crowd — whether it’s the board room meeting or when you’re delivering that TED Talk.