Are we present?

“I’m too old to be rigid”- Patsy Rodenburg

At any time in our lives, we can become more flexible in our approach to presentation through our voice and body.

Awareness of how we communicate is the first step in making conscious choices.

There is a great opportunity to learn how to be better communicators from people who have dedicated their life to exactly that craft.

Patsy Rodenburg is well known among actors, politicians and corporate executives for her coaching in voice and presence.

The ten minute video (link below) explains her ‘Three Circles of Energy’ in power presentation.

Here is a summary from her book:

First Circle Presentation

Inward-focused; body may be slumped or collapsed, voice thin- unclear delivery.

Second Circle

“Energized yet open body and delivery.

You will feel that you, the listener, matter, and through the speaker’s eye contact you will feel connected to the presentation.

The speaker will have energy and passion, but this energy appears effortless and efficient.

There is authenticity and humanity in their presence and even if there are a thousand people present, the speaker is speaking to you alone.”

Third Circle

The energy is about ‘bluff.’

“Third Circle presentation can be effective. It can control an audience and pump generalized energy into a room. However, it rarely inspires or makes the audience believe they matter.
… although this energy can be enthusiastic, aggressive or entertaining it doesn’t take the listener into consideration and is therefore controlling.”

From her book, Power Presentation (link below)

In this video, Patsy explains how to recognise when we are in the space of ‘give and take.’ I like that she says we always have a choice in life to come back to the present.

Watch her video here:
Second Circle Presence

If you want more from her, on this topic, check out her book, Power Presentation.

Instant Confidence

Want to boost your confidence and reduce stress for free, in two minutes, with no special skills?

Well I do, and that’s how social psychologist, Amy Cuddy presents her research in her Ted talk, ‘Your body language shapes who you are.

The premise is that our physiology affects our psychology. In other words, it’s not ‘fake it till you make it’, but ‘ fake it till you become it.’

And how long does that take? Got a couple of minutes?

After two minutes standing in a power pose (think Wonder Woman), study participants tested higher on testosterone and lower on cortisol. These two hormones are key in facilitating our leadership qualities. The higher the testosterone, the higher our confidence, the lower the cortisol, the lower our reactivity to stress.

This is such an effective and portable tool for changing our relationship to how we think and feel through our bodies. Perfect for a space a small as a bathroom (or even a toilet cubicle) before a high-stakes presentation.

The infographic below, from Brazilian magazine Superinteressante illustrates how we shrink and expand, and what that communicates to others. The study results showed that post power-pose, participants were rated more highly in an interview situation.

Some extra interviews with Amy Cuddy are worth checking out.

The take-away here is to check if you are shrinking or expanding. If we can expand your body-language, we can expand out confidence, and others’ perception of us.