How Great Speakers Use Stage Presence

by | Jan 26, 2022 | Business Growth

stage presence

If you are looking for a great speaker for your next event you will be looking for a speaker that has stage presence. But how do you define presence?

Presence is one of those charismatic qualities that can be hard to define. It’s a combination of warmth, authority, power and projection. All of those qualities are then used for the benefit of the audience…

On stage a great keynote speaker, with stage presence has the ability to draw the attention of the audience into their performance. They will be able to hold that attention through their charisma and story-telling and transport the audience on a journey.

Here are 7 ways a great keynote speaker brings presence to your audience:

Being Present

Nothing improves presence like being present. As a speaker agent we get to see accomplished, professional speakers and the up-and-coming speakers. A novice speaker may consistently drift into their own thoughts, judging their performance or the audience’s reaction rather than staying present with the message they are conveying.

Professional speakers, with stage presence, have the ability to stay in the performance. Their years of practice allow them to be more present with the message they are conveying.

Creating a journey of ease for the audience

A speaker with presence knows the destination or outcome of their presentation. They know there is a journey and they are going to transport the audience from where they are at the beginning, to the end.

Knowing this tells the speaker that the journey isn’t really about them, it’s about the audience. All they have to do is facilitate a ‘journey of ease’ for the audience. They key word here is ‘ease’. No one wants to travel on a choppy ocean and a speaker with ease will make the crossing from the beginning to the end seamlessly, yet still positively impacted the audience on the journey.

Being watchable

Although people have come to listen to the key note speaker, speak to them, their stage presence makes them watchable. Being watchable makes the experience both enjoyable and memorable.

For example, an accomplished speaker will use the podium, the stage, the video screen, their clothing and other props to enhance their visual performance.

A speaker with stage presence knows when to pace the stage and when to stand still. They know when to move forwards or backwards to make a point and they’ll know when to stand behind the podium and when to get out from its shadow.

They will also be able to use their body and expressions in all the right spots to emphasis a point by shrugging, raising an eye-brow, smiling, opening their eyes wide etc.

You can find out more about what a speaker’s body language can tell you here.

Using their voice for presence

Keynote speakers who have a commanding presence tend to have resonance in their voice. There is something that comes from within, via their voice that transmits authority, power, confidence and often warmth.

Even when speaking softly to emphasis a point, a speaker with presence in their voice will still captivate you.

A keynote speaker with stage presence will also know there are moments where pausing is appropriate, so that the silence can allow their message to settle in your soul.

Not every speaker is comfortable with silence. Some rush their words trying to fill it and in doing so lose presence, but the professional with stage presence has no qualms about slowing the pace or stopping for a moment. They know exactly when to pick it back up again!

Building a relationship and rapport with the audience

A speaker with stage presence has the ability to make their presentation a personal experience. They draw individuals in through eye contact, they ask for agreement, they notice ripples in the crowd and ask questions about it.

Professional speakers charm and disarm people, building on the themes and topics they’ve been given and the interaction with the audience. They alleviate fear by breaking ideas down and making them accessible using metaphors. They thank their audience for participating when asked and make people feel included.

Because they are present with the audience, they can pivot their presentation based on what they sense from the crowd, making small tweaks and shifts, bringing in the unplanned, but needed, without diverting from the overall outcomes required.

Noticing the audience reaction and being able to interact and ask and answer questions and use the feedback to build on their presentation, makes for a personal experience and increases the audience’s engagement.

You will see speakers with less experience and less stage presence often struggling through a presentation, sticking to their plan and having little chemistry with their audience.

Enjoyment and presence

A speaker who has presence will most likely be enjoying themselves. They gain energy from the interaction and they’ll enjoy the growth they get from pivoting their presentation or approaching the ideas in a new way, or the humour or other gift an audience gave them.

Creating memorable moments

Any keynote speaker worth their fee will create memorable moments the audience can take away with them. For some in the audience it might be a fact or figure. For others it might be an anecdote or buzz phrase they use as a mantra. The speaker’s role is to create these moments and add presence to the idea so it sticks in the minds of the audience, giving a long-lasting effect.

Final thoughts
If you want your audience to enjoy the next keynote presentation, event or conference and take away you put on, make sure the speaker has stage presence and can leave lasting value.

The presence a speaker brings to the stage is of huge importance. A dry presentation won’t engage anyone. A warm presentation delivered with the right amount of power and authority will make the impression needed and leave the impression you intended.

Stellar speakers are a unique speaker agency representing change-making keynote speakers. We provide expertise to help you manage your budgetary expectations and provide realistic options. We provide a preferred partner’s service base, so that partner clients get everything they need, lowering your risk as a booker of speakers, so you can make your choice about your next speaker with confidence.

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If your next conference is around the corner it’s time to book a consultation with Stellar Speakers.

Let us help you find the right keynote speaker to deliver timely messages, fresh themes and introduce the latest methodology and thinking.

Because our speakers are thought-leaders, industry expert and change-agents we help bring out the best in your organisation. Our passion is developing your people.

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