I have long believed the whole point of presentation is to make a connection. To make that connection you must be fully engaged and available. You must be open. My years of coaching experience have proven there are two physical elements crucial for open, powerful communication: grounding and breathing. With this awareness, your body relaxes down onto the ground and your breath drops deeper into your body. Your voice sounds lower and you feel as though you are speaking with your whole being. It is one of the simplest things to practice and has a profound effect on your communication. Grounding alone can make you look relaxed, sound strong and feel confident as a speaker.
Cultivating presence is a continual practice that takes dedication and diligence. Sadly, this is something that is often given little to no attention. Far too many humans go through their life completely consumed with thoughts of the past and future, never experiencing intentional moments of pure presence. Presence is a state of mind that contributes to greater joy, bliss, and peace — as well as a remarkably decreased level of anxiety, fear, or worry. The key is maintaining a curious and inquisitive attitude towards developing present moment awareness, and trying different methods to determine what works. Cultivating presence is a never-ending journey. However, small steps such as these, when put into regular practice, can and will have a profound impact on your life.
Many women and men I might add are searching for ways to show up with more authenticity and power in their work and lives. In her best-selling book, Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges , Associate Professor Amy Cuddy from Harvard Business School, suggests that the best way for us to step into our authenticity and personal power is through cultivating more moments of what she calls presence. It emerges when we feel personally powerful, which allows us to be acutely attuned to our most sincere selves. We are no longer fighting ourselves: we are being ourselves. As you think about how you want to show up as a woman, as a leader, and what authentic leadership may look like for you, we want you to consider your own presence. Presence is what allows you to approach stressful situations without anxiety, fear, and dread and leave them without regret, doubt, and frustration. Instead you can go forth, knowing that you did everything you could.
Presence is accessible to all of us. To allow for a deepening into presence however takes intention and practice. Intention and practice primes our brain and our body towards the experience that we are intending i. Presence can be cultivated through pausing and opening to whatever is being experienced in the moment - with acceptance and non-judgment. Mindfulness practices help to open to presence through paying attention to the moment on purpose, with compassion and understanding. Engaging in activities that promote moment-to-moment awareness, such as art, creativity, music or being in nature, helps to release the natural presence within. Below are some tips for cultivating presence: Pause. Taking a moment to pause, whether it be in the midst of a difficult situation or at a moment of being in beauty, is one of the most powerful ways to open to presence.