What is my whole self?
Actors often talk about bringing their whole selves to the stage, which means how we experience them while they are on the stage.
Are they physically, emotionally, and intellectually present?
Eugenio Barba developed a unique program in Denmark for Odin Teatret that was designed to unlock the power of the actor by bringing them more into their bodies.
This is the key to increasing your executive presence.
(If you’re interested, you can watch some of his training here in this old footage. It’s pretty amazing stuff.)
What gets in the way?
We are blessed with consciousness, therefore we are aware of ourselves in a way that can often block our connection with others. The more I:
- think about myself in this world, the harder it is to connect with the world around me.
- focus how I look to you, the fuzzier my communication will be with you.
- worry about getting messages “right,” the less spontaneous and free I am in the relationship.
The goal is to be clear and clean in your communication, and to build meaningful relationships with others.
The path to this is through the full embodiment of the self.
Be in your body.
The more physically present you are in your body, the easier it is to stay present.
Whenever I need to have more presence, the first thing I try to do is to bring my attention to my physical self.
If you can bring your awareness to your back, your legs, your feet, and your belly, and you may find that your physically presence grows.
The problem is that, while others will experience this change in your presence, you might not feel or notice the difference.
As long as you don’t overthink it or try to measure how you’re being perceived, you will begin to notice a change in how people see you.
If you’re interested, Tara Brach offers many meditative resources to work on embodiment. You can find more about them here.
Be clear, present, and clean.
I sometimes talk to my clients about being “clean” when entering into a new situation, which is a way of thinking about what we are bringing into a particular conversation or presentation.
The goal is to remove all the little thoughts and concerns you have about how you seem to others, and instead to focus on being completely in your body and with the other person.
The better you are at this, the more effective you will be as a communicator.
- What am I worrying about? Is this helpful?
- What am I thinking about? Is this helpful?
- Do I see how being in my body can help with my presence and connection to another human being?
If you can practice these little steps, you will find that in small ways your presence and your communication will improve.
I appreciate you,