Outer Presence for Speaking – A Power That Others Sense

Presence is also an external quality that others sense and to which they respond.  Other people perceive your presence as a magnetic force and they are drawn to you, because presence is actually a radiation of psycho-physical energy emitted from your body.  It is your life force emanating from your body, and it occurs when you have learned to concentrate and focus your energies in and around you. The strength of your presence makes you very attractive to others, and you become able to hold their attention.

 Stars in every field of human endeavor possess presence.  That’s what makes them stars – that intangible “something extra” that makes some people stand out as unique and compelling, able to excite and energize others.  A fortunate few come by this presence naturally.  However, it can be developed by the rest of us, including those of us with stage fright. 

 Here is the thing that may surprise you.  People who have great stage fright have the potential to develop a star quality presence because they have so much passion!  The more fear you have, the more feeling that is flowing through your body.  When all your feeling is brought into concentrated focus and integrated with your mind, you will have enormous power of presence.  You can harness all that feeling, so it is available to fuel your life and fill your communications with passion.


Presence happens when you are so deeply relaxed into yourself and accepting of yourself that you feel free to be genuine.  The secret to presence is to be fully grounded in your body so that you have a full-body sense of awareness.  When you are grounded and present, you experience sensation and awareness in every part of your body, all the way down to your toes.  It may sound strange, but many people live with minimal or limited awareness of their bodies.  They don’t have much sensation or awareness below the neck, and they tend to stay focused only in their heads. 

 The phrase “being in your head” literally means your attention and energy are overly focused in the head region.  Our society has tended to place much emphasis on “mind over body,” and our religious roots have even taught us that the body is something that is bad or potentially evil – something to be subdued and repressed using the power of the mind.  Without getting into a long discussion of Western societal attitudes toward the body, suffice it to say we need to reclaim our entire bodies, most of which are located below the neck.

 Developing the experience of presence requires you to become full-bodied.  Full-bodied awareness is more than just muscle relaxation.  It is awareness of the flow of psycho-physical energy in every part of your body.  As you develop awareness and energy throughout your whole body, you begin to radiate an external quality of presence that others will sense.  Your presence will touch people on an unspoken level, increase your power to influence and hold their attention.

I am Sandra Zimmer, author of It’s Your Time to Shine and founder of Self-Expression Center.  I offer group training and individual coaching that can help you transform fear of speaking and become a compelling, persuasive speaker so that you can shine when you share your ideas, insights and expertise. You can download a copy of my Grounding Exercise or an eBook version of It’s Your Time to Shine at www.self-expression.com.