Discussion forum for members of the Massachusetts Bay Organizational Development Learning Group

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Seven Crown Jewels of Public Speaking Presence

Summary/Review of DVD: The Seven Crown Jewels of Public Speaking Presence, by Carla Kimball

7 jewels:

1. Where you put your attention, that's where your energy goes.
Change your focus of attention from "what might go wrong" to "what is success".
Notice/pay attention to what is going on for you. If anxiety begins to build, figure out what would be a more productive use of your energy.

2. Slow down. Take your time. Breathe.
Let the breath come.
Then, you can make some choices, pace yourself, in order to deal with whatever comes up in the moment.
"Entrainment": people catch up to the dominant rhythm in the room. So, you set the (slower) pace.

3. When we're anxious, we tend to be in our heads. We need to be in our bodies: an embodied presence.
Come back to feeling your feet on the ground, your connection to the earth.
Or focus on your center: your belly.
Let your energy drop down in your body.

4. Think of it as a conversation.
That takes pressure off ourselves to "perform."
You don't have to be perfect in a conversation.

5. Ask yourself, "How can I be of service?"
Be present. Be available.
Drop the need to be the expert.

6. Find the inner smile, the smiling energy that is inside.
Smiling and frowning have very different neurochemistries.
Don't take yourself so seriously.
When we smile, we end up being much more open and receptive to others.
Be kind to yourself.

7. Trust the power of silence.
Silence provides an opportunity to come back to yourself, to allow the possibility of discovery.
It also gives emphasis to what you just said -- gives it resonance. Gives folks time to assimilate.

I agree with the effectiveness of most of what she says in the DVD. It is entirely a "talking head" (or, more accurately, "talking torso") piece of media, with the camera scarcely moving (and then only horizontally), so don't expect the visuals to be at all enthralling. But she has good material and delivers it well herself.

Most of us omit one or several of these points in our own public presence -- so the DVD can offer a good refresher.

Ed Dolan



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