A really good presentation coach can teach you a great deal about how to engage and connect with an audience with confidence, authority and impact. A great deal of what you need to know about how to craft and deliver a memorable presentation has already been written about.
A great presentation coach will help you to bring those ideas and principles to life.
What about charisma?
It’s one of those words you don’t really hear too often these days, it’s a bit like hearing someone say ‘oh gosh’ or ‘crikey’. It’s a shame though, because it’s one of those things that if you have it can make a massive difference to the impact you have when you speak and present to an audience.
To talk about ‘charisma’ feels a bit nebulous. In fact, I’m not certain many people know what it means exactly but strangely it’s one of those things that you know when you see it.
Sadly, it doesn’t matter how much money you have it’s just not something you can buy or learn from a presentation coach.
It’s one of those things you either have or you don’t.
To me, charisma is that air of confidence, self- comfort, charm and grace that means you can talk about anything and your audience will still hang on to your every word. It’s a personal confidence and self-belief that can move even the most reticent listener.
When you have charisma the bottom line is you’re like a people magnet.
Unfortunately, there is no magic formula for charisma and even with all of our experience and knowledge it’s not something a Mindful Presenter Coach can just miraculously give you on a day or two’s training.
That said, we have our own way of making little miracles happen and there is something we can do. Whilst we can’t give it to you, here’s what we’d suggest and help you with:
Take up space
Stand tall with your shoulders back, your feet planted firmly on the ground positioned shoulder or hip width apart. Open up your chest a little so that you can breathe properly and keep your head up.
There is nothing more powerful than a smile. It tells your audience you are a nice person, you are happy to be there, you care and that you are like them.
Smiling is contagious, it makes you feel good as well as your audience, releases tension for both of you and it helps us all to relax.
Send them love
I owe you an apology.
There is something more powerful than a smile, much more powerful; it’s love.
Just imagine how the entire energy of the room would change if the moment you stood to speak, before you uttered a single word, you sent you audience thoughts of love. Please don’t dismiss it as ‘cheesy’ or ‘new age’ until you’ve tried it a few times; it works.
One of the challenges many professionals have when presenting today is that they operate in very serious business environments. Being professional doesn’t mean we have to speak like politicians; we can relax a little. Have a sense of humour and don’t take yourself so seriously.
Let them in
A presenter who is distant and only tows the company line isn’t very endearing or pleasant to listen to.
Let your audience see the real you. Tell them how you think and feel and what’s happened to you in the past to make you feel the way you do.
Make them feel something
Remember, you’re not just there to share data, they can read. Your job is to make them feel something too.
For your audience to feel something you have to feel it first. Be very clear on what that is and do everything you can to make sure you feel it first and then share that connection with your audience.
Step briefly but firmly into their shoes; show them how much you really understand them. Find out as much as you possibly can about them with the ultimate goal of becoming one of them but with one key difference; you have the solution to their problem.
Never underestimate the power and range of your voice and the ability you have to express passion for even the most mundane subjects. Practice stretching and challenging your voice; learn how to use if effectively. As you learn how to strengthen your voice, tell your audience stories, use analogies, metaphors, and your vocal energy to bring your message to life.
Passion is the expression of love, commitment and belief in what it is you’re speaking about.
If you lack any of those three critical ingredients then it doesn’t matter how gifted and talented the presentation coach may be they are unlikely to be able to inject you with it.
Your audience will sense fake passion immediately and you will be left high and dry.
When you show up with passion for a presentation, people pay attention.
Make it more
Mindful presenting has to be more than a job.
If presenting or speaking in public for you is just another monotonous part or your job, you don’t like people or don’t believe you have anything interesting to say then even surgery won’t change your attitude.
Re frame in your mind the task of presenting as an opportunity to connect and make a difference.
It’s not magic, it’s mindset
That’s the one thing you have complete control over; there are always ways to improve your attitude which include:
Remembering just how good you are, how far you’ve come and stopping the constant comparison to others. You may not speak like Obama or the late Steve Jobs but that doesn’t mean you can’t be brilliant in your own unique way.
Believe in who you are, where you’ve come from and what you have to offer. Stay positive and remember that you have something to share that will make a tangible difference to those who take the time to listen.
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If this article has inspired you to learn a little more about how effective your presentation skills are you may want to take a look at our presentation training and presentation coaching pages to see how we may be able to help you. You will also find a great deal of really helpful ‘free’ information in our Learning Centre.
Image: Courtesy of flickr.com