Got Presence?


“Passion, Power and Presence”

  A Rocky Mountain Retreat

Presence is hard to define; we know it when we see it. It’s what makes us compelling.

*    What is it and how do I get it?

*    Will it help me be more effective?

*    How will it help me deal with my challenges–and my opportunities?

Bring your mind, body and SPIRIT to the Colorado Rockies for a Retreat this July to find the answers.

Join us for a mix of outdoor exercise, rafting, sun and fun; yoga, Qi Gong, hiking in the wildflowers, and meditation; visioning and discussion; and healthy gourmet food enhanced with community (and maybe a glass or two of wine).

You’ll come away inspired and enabled to bring your boldest energy into the world with renewed passion and a powerful PRESENCE.

Passion, Power and Presence

… your heart’s pounding … your brows are dripping sweat … your hands and voice are both shaking … and you’re about to speak-but you won’t be expressing your authentic best self. You need presence to do that. Presence-that thing you deeply feel when you have it, and so does everyone else in the room.

Finding and believing in your true self allows you to take control of how you tell your story, whatever it happens to be. After all, the power of what you say rests more in how you express it than in your actual words. 97% of communication is the non-verbal. Most people feel empathy if you’re a little nervous at first, but it wears thin if your discomfort distracts from what you’re trying to say. Unless you can be present, everyone will be disappointed, especially you.

Having presence does not mean demonstrating how powerfully you can control the meeting or the room. Rather, it means knowing yourself, demonstrating confidence, and being approachable, attentive and open with others. And, one who listens.

Think of someone you know or have seen who has charisma, another word for presence–but, presence is more. Kind of gives you a warm feeling inside, doesn’t it? People with true presence have created a powerful connection inside themselves, an integration of mind, body–posture and speech. And the soul-ful “stuff” needs to be there, as well. Being “in the moment,” being “mindful” is being “present.” This harmony is where presence emerges-and it can be learned. You’ll have a strong presence and centered-ness that replaces those awkward and embarrassing signs of nervousness with inner harmony and outward connection-just one of many reasons to develop your presence.

You Can’t Fake Personal Presence

You can’t fake your confidence, comfort level, and passionate enthusiasm. They reveal themselves naturally through your voice, gestures, and facial expressions. I learned this myself years ago through my own challenges to communicate with severe performance anxiety through half of my career in front of the camera. Since then I’ve been helping clients tone and flex their skills to become gifted communicators and performers-people with presence. When you have presence, people ascribe all sorts of positive qualities to you: persistence, hard work, drive, creativity, charisma-all of which make you more expansive, believable, and authentic.

Through her TED Talk, which has garnered 33 million views and counting, and her 2015 book, Presence, Amy Cuddy has brought the concept of “presence” into the spotlight. In her book, she cites a study that found employees who are allowed to express their true and unique selves were happier on the job and performed better. This was found to be especially true when dealing with some of the biggest challenges. The “presence” of these workers was credited with generating better customer satisfaction ratings, fewer errors, and longer job tenure. It was also found that the strongest predictors of success in making a pitch for money, or success in general, were the confidence, comfort level, and passionate enthusiasm exhibited by people with presence. These benefits have major financial implications for any organization.

I encourage all of my clients to speak up and express themselves and their POV (point of view) in each meeting they attend-to participate. Never just be in the room. But, be PRESENT and accounted for.

The benefits of such elevated levels of performance are countless, particularly in a corporate environment where trust, leadership and accountability are constantly called into question-and the answer is clearly developing personal presence. Even more important is the confidence that presence brings to individuals of every age and occupation. My Millennial career clients who worry that they seem “young” or “inexperienced” to audiences have learned and found their unique presence by, at first, acting “as if.” The growth in confidence follows.

Get a start on enhancing your personal presence by answering the following questions from research done by Laura Morgan Roberts and cited in Cuddy’s book, Presence:

*    What three words best describe you as an individual? These are actually your personal brand attributes. Perceptions of you count.

*    What is unique about you that leads to your happiest times and best performance?

*    Reflect on a specific time-at work or at home-when you were acting in a way that felt “natural” and “right.” How can you repeat that behavior today?

*    What are your signature strengths and how can you use them?

Answer honestly. If you don’t believe yourself, who will?