Power Presentations tip 20: Stage Presence

Power Presentations Tip 20:

Stage Presence

What is it?
Stage presence is that invisible quality that attracts the rapt attention of your audience. A presenter with strong stage presence receives higher credibility and more respect from the listeners.

Who has it?
Stage presence is hard to define but you recognize it when you see it. You might recognize performers, actors and public speakers who seem to have it. Anthony Hopkins demonstrated it in Silence of the Lambs. Stage actors seem to develop it more than TV and movie actors. David Copperfield has it on TV and especially in his live performances. Madonna flaunts it in her shows.

How do you develop your stage presence?
I think that it is best not to pursue it directly. Instead build your stage presence as a byproduct of other elements. I also believe that there is not one formula for stage presence. Depending on the individual and circumstances you can achieve stage presence with a different set of elements than someone else.

What are the elements of stage presence?
Probably the most important element is that you appear to be in control - of yourself, your presentation and the room. The perception of being in control is made of up other elements: warm smile, purposeful and fluid movement and good posture. Notice that these are visual cues to your audience. Look like you are in control and your audience will believe that you are in control.

Your voice can contribute to your stage presence. You should be easy to be heard and understand. A slower speaking pace usually strengthens your stage presence. Silence in the form of well placed pauses builds presence. A conversational tone helps.

Thought-provoking words indicate your comfort with the topic and aids the perception of being in control.

Noticing the people and things in the room and using them to your advantage further builds your stage presence.

Stage Presence. The next time you see it make note of the techniques that contribute to it.

George Torok
PS: Tell me how this tip helps you.

PPS: Thanks for your comments and feedback.


"I appreciate the simplicity and usefulness of these categories. It's a persuasive to informative continuum going from why to what to how. It makes it clearer what the primary objective of a particular speech needs to be without excluding the importance the informative element in a persuasive speech or vice versa."

Steve Kultala
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1 comment:

Chris Witt said...


I like your comment about not trying to develop stage presence straight on. I think one of the prerequisites of any sort of attractive presence is to be engaged and interested in what you're about combined with an interest in other people and their concerns.