The Power of Presence:
May the Force Be With You When You Speak
by Sandra Zimmer
A popular collective concept for presence of spirit is the "force" as George Lucas has called it in his Star Wars movies. In Episode I, young Anakin shows unusual amounts of a living chemical substance that indicates the "force" is strong with him. Lucas may not be so far from reality in describing a soul substance that shows up in the biochemistry of the body.
Within each one of us there is a magnificent psychophysical power that can be sourced to hold audiences in rapt attention. It is the "power of presence" that flows through you and out to others as radiant love energy. When flowing, your presence can literally fill a room with scintillating light vibration that draws an audience to you.
I am not talking about presentation skills or mechanical techniques, but of the power of your soul to create a real connection with the souls of your listeners. You cannot create this presence by working from the outside on projecting an image. It is strictly an inside job – something you come to by working from your insides to open up to your audience. It is created by being who you genuinely are.
I discovered this power by serendipity while acting in Camelot in Hawaii. An accident on stage shifted my attention from performing to a state of presence, so I was no longer acting but Being. I experienced a mystical connection with my audience as the "force" flowed through me and out to them. For the past fifteen years I have explored what it takes to consciously open myself and others to this wondrous power that connects and captivates.
How to Develop YOUR Power of Presence
1. Learn to be grounded in your physical body. Cultivate awareness of being fully relaxed down into your skin all the way to your feet. Grounding helps open your psychophysical centers or chakras so you experience a greater flow of life force in your body. (Grounding Exercise Cassette Tape).
2. Find out where you tense and block energy in your body when you become the center of attention. Give yourself permission to feel the tension, relax in to it until it releases into flow.
3. Be willing to let your audience see who you really are rather than projecting an image you want them to see. Let go of performing and surrender to Being. Create your speaking style based on being who you are rather than being perfect. Put your attention on being with them rather than performing for them.
4. Focus more on what you have to do to feel good on the inside rather than what makes you look good on the outside. Find out what you have to say and do to feel good inside your skin when you are speaking.
5. Integrate your real, "in this moment" feelings into the presentation without self judgement. Be real with them so something real can happen in the space between you. This creates intimacy with them.
6. Receive your audience. Open yourself to take in their energy. Use soft eyes when making eye contact so that you drink them in through your eyes. This reduces the resistance to them and literally draws them to you magnetically.
Others can sense your presence
When you can do these things, you activate chemistry between you and them. Your soul energy starts flowing through you and a fine mist of subtle spiritual energy is released from your body. It can be seen, felt or perceived as a radiant glow around you. The atmosphere around you crackles with electricity. Your audience feels a quality of love from you that is so magnetic they cannot take their eyes off you. They feel bathed in your love, opened to receive from you. When you are silent, they wait to hear what you will say next. You create real connection with listeners, soul to soul.
When you are speaking from this state of presence, it does not matter so much what you say or how you say it. It does not have to be perfect. You touch people with the presence of your spirit that is unobstructed by ego or image. Because you have given yourself permission to be who you are, your very presence gives people permission to be who they are. This is the real power of presence – the power of love to transform us all through permission to be who we really are.