Thank you for reading and for working with me, so you are more able to hear your own true voice.
Speak. Speak to it.
Let us now look deeper into the related principles of “Mastering” your presentation.
By “mastering” I am referring to the way you present yourself when you match up the verbal and physical delivery of your message. Let us discuss this further now. First, I focus on a body-centred approach, working with the body as our chief vehicle of communication.
At every moment, each of us has what I call “a Woody Allen,” the little voice in Woody Allen’s movies, where we hear him questioning and doubting himself. We all have our own unique version of this expression of self-criticism
“What would my mother think?”
“Am I coming across well?”
“Do they really care to hear me?”
Take a moment to look at your body as you read this chapter, that is, the way that you are sitting, or standing, moving, breathing, twisting and turning. And also note, the next time you present, if there is a certain way you stand up in front of your colleagues.
One of my clients, for example, talks very rapidly. I once asked her, “What is it that you are doing that you are talking fast? What is it under the surface?”
She replied, “There’s a sense inside, that unless I speak fast and give all my material right away, people are not going to notice me.” As a result, because she speaks so rapidly, it is difficult to feel the emotion in her words.
How can she change this? It would be necessary for her to use “a double extreme” technique by altering: 1) the underlying conversation; and 2) the sense of what would it be like if she were to say, “As I take my time to notice myself first, people notice me.” Then the presentation would have a very different delivery. There would be a greater depth and resonance in the tone as the energy worked itself to the base of the belly and to the base of the spine.
I tell my clients that anytime you have a negative thought prior to presenting, see how quickly you can turn that around. Imagine a pageant of brightly lit neon signs pouring through the movie screen of your own mind. Slogans deep inside rise to the surface that illuminate your delivery now with the new message, “As I take time to reach myself first, it’s easier for me to reach others.”
And then, there’s a shift in the body’s physiology, a measurable behavioural shift in your physiology. Now we are working with the body, fine-tuning what you have to say so that your message matches up on every level of your consciousness.
Therefore, the hands say the same thing that the body is saying with the eyes, the voice, the mouth, the feet, the facing of the body all working together. Like a great actor or actress, the message then is not just to give expression to a line, yet moreover to have every cell, every part of yourself fully inhabited by your message. And the result? Your engaging presence.