6 Tips to Developing a Commanding Presence

1. Body Language
The smallest things play a part in making your presence felt. Posture is one of them. Keeping your body upright and not slouching displays confidence and makes your presence felt without you even saying a word. Recall that actors can command the stage and your attention when they aren’t even looking at you. This is achieved by opening their bodies up to the audience and being aware of the audience’s reaction to their bodies, the same technique you need to keep in mind.

2. Powerful Voice
In a large theatre, in order for the audience to truly experience the show to its fullest potential, the actors on stage must project their voices and speak very clearly. This is a skill you need to cultivate in your professional life. Speak with clarity in your voice and use effective pauses in your speech. Your audience will not only hear you but also understand you.

3. Avoid Fillers
It’s a common problem we all have – using fillers while talking. Fillers are the words we unconsciously use to fill in the gaps as we gather our thoughts, like “um”, “like” and “so”. Instead of using these fillers, consciously try to pause at strategic points to gather your thoughts instead. This not only reduces the possibility of you looking uncertain, but also creates dramatic effect, making you seem more interesting. If you can rehearse your script beforehand, do so. In a play or on a sitcom, you rarely see the actors using fillers because they have memorised and rehearsed their scripts, thereby portraying characters more convincingly.

4. Consistent Contribution
Regardless of the setting, if you are a consistent contributor to the conversation, you will be able to create a name for yourself. People will be aware of your reputation and your presence will be felt even in the presence of other individuals. Of course this means contributions with substance. Your inputs should move the scene forward rather than to drag it out.

5. Eye Contact
When speaking to someone, it is effective to keep eye contact throughout the conversation to show your confidence and indicate that you are interested in what the other person is saying. When there is a group of people, you should drift your eye contact from person to person. This tactic will give the audience the impression that you are having a conversation with the person you have decided to keep eye contact with, making them feel involved in what you are saying.

6. Apology Not Accepted
Be confident with your ideas and present them like you believe in them and think that they are great, instead of apologetically asking, ‘Is this ok?’. Conviction in the role you are playing is one of the key things actors need to play their roles effectively, and that is what you need to do as well.

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