Everyone is talking about the secret of the law of attraction to draw the things you want into your life. I want to talk about a different power of attraction – the power of presence to compel attention when you speak in groups or in front of others. This power of attraction is the ability to receive the flow of attention from listeners so that others are attracted to pay attention to you when you speak.
When you speak in groups or in front of groups can you sense that you make authentic connection and that listeners are held rapt with attention? If not, you may want to develop the power of presence to help you attract and compel the attention of others. When you are present, you are able to hold the focus of attention of others easily.
Presence is a sense of being here now, in this moment. All aspects of your being – physical, mental and emotional – are focused together on what is happening now. When you are so focused, you exude a strong presence that others can sense and that attracts their focus of attention to you.
Often, when people speak in groups or in front of others, their attention is split so that their presence is not strong enough to hold attention. While trying to deliver an important message, you may have had the experience of feeling physically tense, experiencing emotional anxiety and thinking you may not say it right. Your attention split in several directions. No wonder people do not seem to be paying attention!
Here are some core concepts that will help you develop presence and create a quality of connection that attracts or receives the flow of other’s attention.
- Ground your body to experience the sensation of presence. Get out of you head and get into your body. Cultivate the ability to relax your mental attention down through your body all the way to your feet. Imagine you melt energy out of your head and let it flow down to fill your entire body. Grounding your body creates a sense of confidence, strength, stability and the awareness of being in the present moment. If you need help in grounding yourself, I offer an audio version of a grounding exercise that I use for myself.
- Find out where you tense and block energy in your body when you become the center of attention. If you experience fear and anxiety to speak in front of others, you have the potential to be among the most impacting speakers. That is because you have strong feelings! Your feelings are up to the surface where they can be used to create genuine emotional connection with others. Fear of public speaking is just passion energy that is blocked in the body and not being allowed to flow freely. Explore the tension of being the center of attention with curiosity rather than self judgment. Give yourself permission to feel the tension and experience it until it releases into flow. For much more about this, visit What is Stage Fright.
- Let others see your real self rather than projecting an image you want them to see. Let go of performing for them and be with them. Create a style of speaking based on being who you really are rather than who you think you should be. The more authentic you are, the more people are drawn to you.
- Integrate your real, “in the moment” feelings into the communication or presentation without self-judgment. Be real with them so something real can happen in the space between you. Don’t be afraid to say, “You know, every time I speak in groups I feel tension because I want to do a good job of communicating with you.” This creates intimacy with your listeners.
- Breathe. I mean really breathe. Take deep breaths, fast breaths, slow breaths, until you relax. Breathing helps your brain oxygenize and relaxes you body. It expands your internal sense of self so you experience a meditator’s high, a sense of being high on life energy. Spend 10 to 15 minutes breathing before your presentation.
- Receive your “audience” to create electricity. Use “soft eyes” when making eye contact. Use your eyes to look gently on people. Imagine you are drinking listeners in through your eyes. Open yourself to take people in and receive the flow of their attention. This reduces your resistance to them and draws them to you magnetically. Don’t worry about being pumped up for your audience. Instead, allow the connection and electricity to build as you receive them.
- Let go of perfectionism. Give up the idea that you have to be perfect or say it perfectly in order to be effective. Effectiveness is not about your performance. It is what happens to your listeners as a result of who you are being with them. If they are changed for the better by your communication, then you have been effective, and it is enough.
- Be there for them. Make your communication or presentation about serving them, not about your performance. Put yourself in the position of being there to share your experience, knowledge, and wisdom.
- Choose to love them rather than worrying if they will like you. Extend your love and acceptance to them and give them permission to receive it or not. This is a very powerful space from which to communicate.
- Talk one-to-one, even in a large group. Make connection with one person at a time. Have a conversation with one person, then another, then another. When you do so, everyone feels that you are connecting with them personally.