“If your presence doesn’t make an impact, your absence won’t make a difference” Trey Smith
Many people believe that a powerful presence is something you are either born with, or without. I disagree – I believe we are all born with an innate presence, which shines brightly as babies and over the years becomes shrouded in layers of negativity, limiting self-beliefs and low self-esteem.
We are brought up to ‘blend in’, to conform, to be one of the crowd. In other words, don’t stand out, don’t be different, just be bland!
One of the biggest challenges I have found over 10 years of running networking groups and teaching people to network effectively, is getting people to be proud of their unique skills. The ‘it’s rude to talk about yourself’ training we receive as infants and all through our formative years, has created a vice-like grip on our ability to share who we are at our core and how talented we are in our area of expertise.The ‘don’t get above your station young lady’ philosophy was drummed into me by my strict Baptist parents and re-enforced during an 11 year marriage to a very chauvinistic Scotsman who made it his raison d’être to keep me small.
I can still re-capture those feelings of being squashed inside a box, feeling totally suppressed, knowing I was being a fraction of the person I was born to be and yet feeling paralysed by the fear of taking the massive leap to break free and dive into the unknown well of my true potential.
What I discovered is that we are all powerful beyond measure, that radiant light that shone so brightly when we were babies, is still there inside each and every one of us and those years of conditioning and layers of limiting self belief just need to be peeled away to allow the true person inside to step up and shine.
This is nothing to do with being loud or arrogant or the ‘life and soul of the party! It’s not about always being ‘right’ or making all the important decisions. It’s about recognising and celebrating your uniqueness and knowing where your true value lies. When you have a strong sense of who you are and what you have to offer, you exude a magnetic energy which is totally irresistible. By being ‘comfortable in your own skin’ you make others feel comfortable in your presence. By being totally ‘present’ for others, they feel listened to, and enriched by, every interaction with you.
People with strong personal presence attract success because people notice them, want to engage with them and hear what they have to say. They are also well respected by their teams and clients alike because they listen to and value the opinions of others and genuinely value and validate their skills and expertise.
A powerful presence will open doors for you in business, make you stand out from the crowd, get you in front of people you would otherwise never meet, create incredible opportunities and ensure you leave a lasting impact wherever you go.
Whether you are a sole trader, limited company, run a SME, a multinational or are out on the networking and speaking circuit, developing a powerful personal presence will ensure you are seen, heard, heard of and remembered for all the right reasons.
So, how can we all develop more of our innate presence?
Take some time to re-connect with who you are at your core.
We are brought up to be the proverbial ‘Jack of all trades’, we are sent on endless training courses to improve our weaknesses, we learn to do tasks that we are not naturally talented in and we lose site of our true skills. When we connect with who we truly are and the unique value we have to offer and spend our time in ‘flow’ doing the work we love that come’s easily and naturally -we positively ‘glow’! We give the air of someone who is living life ‘on purpose’, and we exude that irresistible magnetic energy which draws people to us like bees to a honey pot. How can you recognise, celebrate and share your uniqueness? – work with a coach and take the Talent Dynamics profile test which totally changed my life – http://www.sylviabaldock.com
Make the right 1st impression every time – you only have a tenth of a second to make that vital 1st impression so always look the best version of ‘YOU’. There is a pallette of colours that are right for your skin tone and hundreds of colours that don’t do you any favours. Our ‘blend in’ mentality means we frequently choose bland, neutral colours which make most of look tired or ill. Dressing well is so much more than vanity, it is your personal branding and creates an instant and lasting impression wherever you are. Wearing the right colours for your skin tone will make you look energised, approachable and even younger. The wrong colours will drain your skin tone making you look tired, much less approachable and older. An investment in a colour and style consultation is an investment for life – you end up with a wardrobe full of clothes that you actually wear and feel and look great in. It saves you a fortune in both time and money.
Invest in your health and well-being. When we take time to exercise, eat well, meditate, get out in the fresh air etc. – we are subliminally saying to ourselves -‘you matter’. It’s so easy when we are busy, to put our wellbeing at the bottom of the list, yet if we are not investing in ourselves, we are so much less able to give our best to our clients and colleagues. When you glow with vitality, you radiate that sense of someone who truly values and nurtures themselves and therefore will in turn, value and nurture others.
Continually invest in your own growth and development. It has never been easier than it is today to tap into information in our specialist area and anything that will add to our own knowledge and offerings for our clients and colleagues. Sharing new information in meetings, networking and speaking/training gigs will position you as an ‘expert’ in your field and build up and army of raving fans who follow and share your pearls of wisdom. Share your knowledge across all mediums, social media, blogging, webinars, e-books etc
Be well prepared. Wherever you are, whether networking, training, speaking, client meetings etc. know your objective for the interaction and your ultimate goals. Always allow for delays on route and get there early. You will arrive calm, composed and ready to give your best rather than stressed, disorganised and playing ‘catch up’. Your energy field will be more expansive and people will feel at ease in your presence.If networking, practice your answer to ‘what do you do/what do you speak about’ and make it ‘benefit laden’ – don’t just give a job title. Whatever your answer, you want people to say ‘how do you do that’ or ‘tell me more’ – make sure you practice that as well and make it jargon free – tell a brief story of someone you recently worked with and the impact that had on them and their business. Have a raft of great questions to ask that will allow the other person to talk in depth about themselves and their work and elicit the deeper conversations that build rapport.
Be totally ‘present’ wherever you are. We all have challenges going on in our lives. We all go through stressful times and ‘stuff’ happens in our daily lives, but why carry them with you all day? When you are meeting someone or going to an event, there is nothing you can do about what’s going on in your life right now. We can’t change anything that happened a second ago, so why let your current issues filter into your interactions with others? You are probably thinking that is easy for me to say but very hard to do -but is it? You can actually change your ‘state’ before you walk into a room. If you arrive stressed, just take a couple of minutes before you walk in the room to stop, breathe deeply, and think about something you are proud of, something that you are grateful for or someone you love. Really get into that feeling of pride, gratitude or love and sense it at your core, then walk in and your energy field will be much more expansive. You will then find it so much easier to be totally ‘present’ for everyone you are with and you will fully ‘listen’ rather than thinking about everything that is stressing you out right now. Give the gift of ‘undiluted listening’ listening to understand rather than listening to speak.
When we live in the ‘present’, life becomes a joy, we appreciate every moment of every day and we see and experience so much that we miss when we are focussing on our issues and ‘stuff’.
We radiate the air of someone who is living life on purpose and living it to the full and people want to spend time with us and go away feeling enriched and inspired by our presence.