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"Be a voice not an echo." - Albert Einstein

How To Increase Your Power And Presence In Public Speaking

How To Increase Your Power And Presence In Public Speaking

Want to have more impact as a speaker and presenter? Here's how to increase your power and presence in public speaking.


Is it more important in public speaking to be a powerful presenter or to have a maximum amount of presence?

The answer, is yes. To achieve leadership in terms of influence when you speak, power and presence are both necessary. 

You need leadership presence when you speak, period. Learn what makes you powerful on stage with my book, Speak for Leadership. Click below for a signed copy! On Amazon

Dr. Gary Genard's book on developing leadership presence, Speak for Leadership.

But how can you attain these two desirable characteristics without years of preparation and experience? Part of the answer is, you can't. Public speaking isn't a magic act: there are no tricks you can learn to give the illusion of effective presentations.

There is one fact, however, that goes a long way to overcoming that problem. It's this: public speaking performance can be learned. Knowing how to achieve presence and charisma is more than desirable—it's a key element in having the impact you're hoping for. It's a secret of speech performance that you can and should be immediately putting into practice. This article is about two ways you can do so.

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To Project Power On Stage, Learn To Be Physical 

When a client tells me they want to project more power as a speaker, I tell them this: the key to doing that is nonverbal communication

Here's a hypothetical situation that I think proves this point. Imagine that you watch three speakers, one after other. Each was introduced as an expert in the same field, and the content and visuals of each presentation was identical. Which speaker do you think you'd remember?

I'd say it's a good guess that the speaker who gave the more dynamic performance would be the winner in your mind. In fact, this example isn't all that hypothetical: you've seen lots of actors dressed to look professional while pitching products on television. (Think of those handsome men in white coats telling you that "three out of four physicians recommend" the product they're holding in their hands.)

You'll forgive them for not introducing themselves at the start of the commercial, because they probably weren't doctors at all, but actors. And why not, since actors know how to generate maximum credibility in front of audiences! Whether on stage or in an advertisement, they know how to use physical presence to make you believe in what you're seeing and hearing. In any live performance, the material needs to be played by the performer.   

Does your voice influence stakeholders? You bet! Is your voice helping or hurting your career? Find out in my Free guide: "Do You Speak Like This? It Can Hurt Your Credibility!"

When Speaking Style Is As Important As Content

It's obvious, isn't it? — Your skill on stage gives your speech life and vitality. Which means that it increases your power and presence. In addition to using nonverbal communication effectively (eye contact, voice, body language and gestures, facial expressions, posture and your position on stage), focus on taking control of your talk through timing, pace, and tempo.

When you're ready to reach the next level of public speaking success, help yourself with my Free ebookHigh-Impact Speaking: The Leader's Guide to Presenting With Influence.

Don't worry about instilling varied pacing into your presentation. That's an artificial approach and will fall flat. Instead, invest yourself fully in what you're saying. Forget about how you're doing. Focus instead on getting your point across to listeners in a way they will understand. In any presentation, thoughts and emotions change constantly, so that the rhythm and timing of your speech will naturally vary—you don't have to worry about it.

Finally, develop your own speaking style. That really means taking your presentations at your own pace and being comfortable doing it. Your individual style will emerge. And again, it's the self-consciousness and worry that comes with trying to be good that makes you hurry through your speeches. Just throw yourself into sharing this topic that animates you, and that interests both you and the audience. Believe me, they're think you're very good indeed.

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Cropped headshot for Speak for Leadership back cover -- 8.30.21

Gary Genard is an actor, author, and expert in public speaking and overcoming speaking fear. His company, The Genard Method offers live 1:1 Zoom executive coaching  and corporate group training worldwide. He was named for nine consecutive years as One of the World’s Top 30 Communication Professionals, and also named as One of America's Top 5 Speech CoachesHe is the author of the Amazon Best-Sellers How to Give a Speech and Speak for Leadership: An Executive Speech Coach's Secrets for Developing Leadership Presence. His book, Fearless Speakingwas named in 2019 as "One of the 100 Best Confidence Books of All Time." He is also the author of the Dr. William Scarlet Mysteries. Contact Gary here. 

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