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Personal Presence

April 9

Personal Presence is a powerful tool. Once you, as a professional, find a way to harness yours, you will gain a better sense of self and command greater respect. Unfortunately, most of us have a hard time staying true to ourselves in high-pressure situations. How many times, after a tense situation, do you slap your forehead in embarrassment as you recall something you said – that you wish you had not? Whether it’s a business development pitch or managing a difficult situation, we often end up coming across in ways we never intended.

Maintaining your professional presence in difficult situations is not easy.

You will need to focus, remain calm and work to use your body positioning, face, voice, eyes and countenance in a steady display of composure. Studies have widely shown that our non-verbal communication accounts for up to 90% of how we communicate. Learning to control your body and emotions will dramatically improve your business communications.

If you are in front of an audience, for example, there are several things you can do to help control your body and emotions. Proper breathing will help calm your nerves. Take a deep breath and exhale slowly. If nobody is watching, you can breath in deeply through your nose and then exhale through your mouth. This will help slow down your heart rate and take the edge off any nervousness you may have. Clenching your hands into fists and then holding them for a count of 10 is another technique that can help to reduce anxiety.

Control your voice. Often, when we get excited our voice becomes higher pitched and the cadence of speech can increase to the point of becoming distracting – or worse – unintelligible. By focusing on your breathing and remaining calm you can better control the tempo of your speech.
Finally, don’t judge yourself while you’re speaking. It will only distract and confuse you while your speaking.


One Response to “Personal Presence”

  1. Nuhpauchecer on October 13th, 2008 12:56 am

    We witnessed a very crazy day for the stock market yesterday. The DOW plunged 800 points only to come roaring back to close down 370 points. It was breathtaking for many of us because we were glued to our TV (and computer screen) as the stock market kept on going down but for some of us, it didn’t really matter because our focus was on other things.
    Yesterday, I was extremely busy at work. I was so busy that I didn’t have time to check on Yahoo Finance nor did I have time to talk to my coworkers about the stock market. When I finally sat down and looked at how the market was doing, I saw the headline (DOW plunged 800 points and closed at 370) on the homepage. My net worth probably plunged just like any other 350 point down days, but it didn’t matter as much to me.
    I wasn’t emotionally upset this time because I wasn’t “living” the roller coaster. As a result, it hurt my wallet but didn’t hurt my feelings. I felt much better and saved myself from much of the emotions of a down day just by focusing on other parts of my life. I wasn’t thinking about the stock market nor was I worrying about the Cisco (CSCO) shares that I owned.
    I was living my life and not being controlled by the stocks I own. I felt good. In this type of market, maybe you should try it too.
    How did you spend your day yesterday? Did you even know that the stock market plunged? Can you sleep at night these days? If you aren’t worried at all, reply and show some encouragement to those that couldn’t!

    You can now follow me on twitter! Alternatively, subscribe to my RSS feed or get blog posts through email if you enjoyed this post. You might even win a prize or two by doing so!

    Laura Kauffmann
    “Seven Oceans Investments Club”

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