I often talk about the importance of “taking center stage.”
Taking center stage can happen on a small scale, such as walking into a room filled with people. Or it can be as major as making an entrance on a stage in front of a large audience, or in front of a camera.
It even happens at a meeting table where you are part of a business team, and you are about to speak.
No matter when or where it happens – how you take center stage is at the heart of your success when presenting. Understanding this makes your message a gift to your audience.
Successful presentations require heart.
When the person making an entrance would rather be having a tooth pulled, it shows. The audience, no matter the size, will see that this person hates attention, small talk, regular talk or any moment that makes them feel naked and on the spot.
As soon as he or she comes through the door, they are assuming that judgments will be made, and expectations will not be met.
So much fear and anxiety have built up before the entrance that failure almost certainly has the upper hand.
The fear of personal exposure, of being seen and scrutinized, is evident and makes the audience equally uncomfortable.
The opposite case involves a personality that craves attention.
This person must have attention to support their self-worth. They’re always “on” and have no clue how to make contact with others – and probably don’t care!
They love to talk (especially about themselves) and have the ability to go on forever without ever noticing the bored looks and lack of response from the poor people caught in his or her self-absorbed trap.
Be confident in your message and know your heart.
Successfully taking center stage requires a person to be confident in their message and comfortable in his or her own skin. Know what makes you tick and embrace it!
Understand how to:
• “Check in” with how you’re feeling at that particular moment
• Assess the level of your tension
• Guide it, use it as a tool to project energy toward your audience
• Enter with a smile and make great eye contact
• Animate your face and body, reflecting the words you speak
Owning the stage starts with a non-verbal entrance. All eyes are now on you, the speaker. The entrance has been a powerful one, and the audience is waiting anxiously to hear what you have to say. You just took center stage!
The bottom line is that ‘center stage’ exists anywhere you will be seen and/or heard.
It’s within your power to determine how you will be experienced and how your audience will benefit. You’ll be recognized as someone in charge of his or her presentation and full of personality when your heart is truly in it.
For more success, have a willingness to risk being judged. And, as long as you’re being judged anyway, why not embrace the vulnerability and seize the moment!
Once you experience the truth and power of not dying when someone “really sees you” – it will be:
We’ve all been uncomfortable at times before or during a presentation. How have you had the heart to keep going in the midst of an uncomfortable presentation? Share it in the comments below. I’d love to hear it!
Learn to Take Center Stage and be a Performance Powerhouse! I’ll show you how to be more confident, convincing and comfortable in front of any size group and help you discover more Powerful Presentations.