There’s nothing more relaxing, inspiring and attractive than a speaker who absolutely belongs in front of his or her audience. To belong is to match, to harmonize and to be a fully integrated part of the whole. Planting solidly in your body and anchoring in your immediate environment are the first intentional power tools of a successful communicator. Presence begins in the body. Planting and anchoring are the main gateways to the kingdom of BELONGING. The power to stay and belong is the true foundation of any successful enterprise. It acts as an invisible dynamic, which nonetheless, speaks volumes.
How can you build anything if you are constantly leaving? When we are self-conscious, we technically stop belonging and to stop belonging is to start leaving. I call the process of belonging an “appetite” and it can be developed. Most of us are self-conscious about aspects of ourselves such as our bodies, the way we look, the way we sound, if we are interesting, attractive, etc. As a result, we suppress our natural desire to belong and feel good in front of a group or anywhere for that matter. All self-consciousness is excess thinking and a disguised intention to suppress our sense of belonging.
Fear makes us want to flee in the now! Therefore, to willingly be here, stay, plant, be seen and heard, and take charge in a public speaking situation, represents an enormous initial win over fear. It demonstrates genuine accountability. Human beings flee physically or in their minds. By planting and anchoring my body into the floor and by feeling the weight of gravity, balance and my breathing, I slowly become more present and comfortable. Planting and anchoring my physical and emotional self into the earthy elements at hand, ground me in a reality that does not play tricks on me, unlike my fears, thoughts or emotions.
We cannot anchor in our thoughts for two obvious reasons: they change all the time and second, there are way too many of them. The third reason is that thoughts lead to decisions and actions founded on projected reality. The audience sitting in front of you is never the audience you think they are.
As an audience I can only believe what the speaker believes and focuses on. The appetite to be here, to belong, to be seen, to be heard, to stay, to experience, to stand, to ground, to physicalize and to relate, are the essential structural elements of successful public performance regardless of the nature of the content.