Communication Skills

How To Develop Presence

People skills | Charisma | Personality development

Presence is 'Personality that brings you some respect and attention'.


Some personality (physicality) we are born with. Some personality (confidence, ease, comfortable in your skin) we get due to our success.


Or, we can learn how to have a 'powerful' personality.


1.Being 'at one' with what you are saying: Sometimes, presence is being personally aligned with your message. For example, Napoleon had a habit of fearlessly moving about in the battlefield, at times within reach of enemy bombardment. In other words, walk the talk.


2. Think tall and you will be tall': Contrary to media myth, many of the historical greats who shaped nations and civilizations were average or small statured – for example, Gandhi. Far too many are in awe of genetically taller people in successful western countries.


3. Using 'Anchoring' to transfer your talent to another situation: Powerful people are able to perform is all kinds of situations. They ''capture' the feeling they have when doing something really well (gestures, movements, words) and make it the 'anchor', which they use as useful memories while they move to a new setting. Like a general said while surveying the battlefield, 'it is just like walking through a garden'.


Build your credibility among your juniors is easy - just use your knowledge, expertise, and authority. To command attention of your peers, use 'anchoring' to get confidence, using a favorite 'feeling' (gestures, movements, words) from previous successes.


4. How to improve your presence: You will have to work on four things:


- Physical: Good posture, projecting calm and confidence - standing erect, hand clasped behind back, head held high, clear voice, steady eye contact, appropriate and thoughtful gestures (think a king gesturing for a person to be allowed in his presence), listening intently and showing you have heard by repeating last words often, so on


- Mental/emotional: Using positive visualization (seeing yourself in positive situations vividly, in full colors), NLP, repeating a favorite mantra (a friend's favorite is this: 'Life sucks, but I am proud nonetheless') to get into a positive state 'at will.'


- Mastery: Your skills, your experience, especially if they are very relevant and important for the occasion.


- Occasion-based: They say people with presence create a 'sense of occasion' in any situation - they will chair a meeting and people may mistake her/him for a CEO. People with presence have a sense of drama - knowing what intrigues and interests people.


People with presence make us think we should get close to them. They have 'charisma' (see the guide to charisma). But don't have an 'empty charisma' - inspire people with your deeds and helpful nature.


5. Never mistake overconfidence for presence. Overconfidence is a personal indulgence, and reeks of self-interest. Presence is making others feel warm.


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