Step Three – Decide to Plant, Anchor, Belong, and Relate.
By Eric Stone
Context and Premise: At the stage of collective awareness we currently operate from, there are four main realms of experience through which we are perceived, interpreted and categorized by others: what we do, what we say, what we feel and what we think or believe is our reality. How we consciously and subconsciously stage those four things literally determines who we are to others. They represent the master design keys to build our credibility and personal power.
As mentioned before, speakers deal with performance issues. With the term performance comes the concept of staging, presence, experience and message. Performance skills are what make a speaker attractive to watch and riveting to listen to.
If fear of public speaking is so real to almost all people, it is consequently useful to inquire into why, and hopefully develop an ability to conquer this infamous fear. I’d like to suggest that fear has a lot to do with the fear of losing control or not retaining control. We are all, at the very core, afraid to be vulnerable and let our guard down. Therefore we usually project onto the immediate situation all the consequences that would follow our loss of control. If we lose control we might be made fun of, ridiculed, shamed, victimized…fill in the blank. Isn’t it exactly what loss of control represents? But are we really in control?
Plant and anchor in the physical world. It is not my objective to go deeper into the fascinating subject of fear from a performer’s perspective but instead, to use it as a backdrop to illustrate how to arm against it. I have never seen a better process than confronting what confronts us. When we face an audience, a microphone or a camera without flinching, it literally gives birth to a whole new conquered feeling. We begin to experience relaxation. Why? It is because our need to control the situation is being handled professionally. Fear makes us want to flee–Now! Therefore to willingly stay during a speech or presentation represents an enormous initial win over fear.
By planting and anchoring my body and all my sensations into the floor and by allowing the experience of gravity, balance and my breathing to occur, I slowly become present and comfortable. You can put it to the test anytime. Human beings flee in their minds. When I plant and anchor with resolve into the physical world, I become grounded in a reality that does not play tricks on me, like my fearful thoughts or emotions. We cannot anchor in our thoughts for two obvious reasons: there are way too many of them, and second, they change all the time. Ironically, the third reason is we cannot control our thoughts.
Planting and anchoring are the first power tools of a successful communicator. These two verbs are the main gateways to the “kingdom of BELONGING”. There’s nothing more relaxing, inspiring and attractive than a speaker who absolutely belongs in front of his or her audience. When we are self-conscious, we have technically stopped belonging. I call this process our appetite to belong, and it can be developed. Most of us are self conscious about aspects of ourselves such as our bodies, the way we look, etc. As a result, we suppress our desire to belong and feel good in front of a group, or anywhere for that matter.
As an audience, I can only believe what the speaker believes and focuses on. The appetite to belong, to be seen, to be heard, to balance, to experience, to stand, to ground, to physicalize, to focus, to make comfortable, to animate, and to relate, are the essential structural elements of successful speeches and presentations. If the speaker focuses on planting firmly, anchoring strongly and belonging gracefully, it makes an enormous difference.
Stand firmly planted in front of any person or group without flinching. It is the true test of the speaker or communicator. Show people that you belong to yourself, to the stage, to the event, to them, to your intentions and, of course, to your topic. It is a matter of ownership and accountability. If you can do that, a whole new world opens up! It represents your basic confidence and acts as a powerful credibility builder. You must be able to face what is within you and in front of you in order to contemplate increasing effectiveness.
If you need coaching or know someone who could benefit from honing these skills or if you wish to comment, feel free to contact me on my cell at (818) 486-3395 or go to my contact page by clicking Here!
Wishing you continued success,
“On-demand, World-Class Training for High Impact
Speeches, Presentations & Media Appearances.”
(310) 205-9219(Office) ~ firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright © 2009 Speakers & Artists International, Inc.