We all have that friend who exudes presence every single time.
He (or she) may very well be the loudest and the most boisterous in the room.
But sometimes, he (or she) can also be the most unassuming, yet somehow very noticeable person in the crowd.
So, what is Presence?
It is simply the energy that a person commands and radiates when amongst other people.
Here are an unfair edges you’d have when you command Presence:
1 – Presence = Confidence
Presence is synonymous with confidence, which helps get your message across.
Because first impressions count.
It has scientifically proven that first impressions have a powerful impact on how we make decisions.
This is termed in psychology as thin-slicing. Within 5 minutes, people draw conclusions in the emotions and attitudes of the people they interact with. Based on that, they’d assess if the experience is going to be positive or negative.
Hence, a more self-confident you will get more people to be interested in whatever you have to say, wouldn’t it?
“This person must really know what he/she is saying. And it’s pretty darn interesting.”
Project self-confidence, and you’d just so happen to, command presence as well.
2 – Presence = Connection
With presence, you’d be getting noticed by people around you.
And people want to get to know you.
(Well, whether that eye candy eventually walks up and talks to you… is another story.)
That’s simply because humans are wired to connect. We naturally are on the lookout for people we can relate to as it’s the easiest to build rapport from familiarity.
But wait, how can any stranger be familiar with you just like that?
Well, they may not be familiar with you, but they will certainly be familiar with the presence that’s surrounding you.
“Hey that professionalism/ warmth/ charisma/ aura/ likability/ strength/ etc, I’ve… felt that before!”
That’s how rapport begins – on common ground.
The key to sustaining this rapport is, you’ve guessed it, to be present.
Presence gives you the awareness of how people are reacting to what you are saying.
Presence opens you to be receptive to what others have to contribute.
Presence empowers you to return the attention that others have given you.
And that’s how you are able to forge a deeper connection.
3 – Presence = Convincing
Professor Albert Mehrabian’s research shows that words only have a 7% relative impact on listeners.
Non-verbal communication has a 55% impact, while how words are delivered make up the other 38%.
With presence, your non-verbal communication and your delivery style will be coherent, assuring and thus more convincing.
Of course, what you say has to make sense too!
Even in situations when your idea is challenged, convincing will require responding to underlying concerns and disagreements.
Fishing out true objections from mere excuses can only be achieved with strong rapport, adequate trust, and the skills to ask the right questions at the right time.
It’s always easy to ‘smoke’ your way through an argument.
But to probe effectively, appreciate deeply and understand fully, the other party needs to feel your presence before they can let you into their world.
When you convince at that level, the bond forged will last beyond the fleeting physical encounter.
“People will forget what you said or did, but they will always remember how you made them feel.”
The big question now is – since presence is so powerful, what we we need to do to be positively present any time we want?
Some are born with it. If you are, you probably have been enjoying showers of attention and limelight since young. Use your “powers” well.
For the rest of us, the solution is simple: Reverse Engineer the Effects.
- Build your Self Confidence that can be elicited instantly
- Make an effort to Connect with anyone you are speaking to by working on seamless rapport
- Learn the tricks to communicate Convincingly
And demand the attention you deserve.