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Being fully present with your audience, whether it's one person or 3,000 people, is the best gift you can give them and the benefits are multiple.
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Welcome to Speaking of Influence with John Ball from PresentInfluence.com. Each week we talk about presentation skills and public speaking and the tools of influence and persuasion with experts and incredible guests. Stay tuned and enjoy the show. Speaking of Influence is uploaded and distributed to all major podcast networks through buzzsprout. Buzzsprout is the simplest way to get your podcast started with tons of great resources for new podcasters. You could start your podcast today follow the link in the show notes. Welcome back to Speaking of Influence. Today I want to talk about thing that's going to follow on from a few of the things I covered it in some recent solo episodes. Where I've talked about things like grounding, I've talked about structuring your presentation. Today I want to talk about putting the present into presentations. Now, when I talk about this, you may realise that my own company is called Present Influence, and that it was very intentional, it has a double meaning in fact more than a double meaning really. And the double meaning that was intended was one is talking about present as in presenting. And the other present its talking about is being in the present. So, could be also talking about giving a gift and having a present of influence as well. However, intentionally it was more about the other two, so about presenting as an ability, and about being in the present as being an important part as well because I think both are absolutely vital. And if you want to be influential, I do think it's essential to be present fully present as much as you can. And by being present. I mean, not thinking about what you're doing later on not worrying about what might happen tomorrow. Not getting too concerned with what you're doing later, what you were working on earlier but actually getting into the moment, being as fully in yourself in your body as you can possibly be in an individual moment. There are some great exercises to help you do this. You don't have to master meditation in order to start being present. You can do any kind of mindfulness or presence practice. To help you do this. I do personally find that some breathing techniques just focusing on your breathing can help you to get more in your body. Just shutting down all the chatter in our heads from time to time is always going to be beneficial. In fact, the medical benefits of meditation are proven that it has a very positive effect on the brain and actually helps to grow the amygdala thought centre. So it is a very important element to do. If you already do a meditation practice, great! I'd love to hear from you what that practice is what you like in terms of meditation or if you have some kind Have mindfulness or focus. And that might be that you like something like yoga or Tai Chi or Chi Gong, where you have a very physically focused time, where you have to be very present for those movements, you have to be focused. Because if you start thinking about other things, you will lose the position, you will lose the flow of what you're doing. So anything that helps you to get very present in your body, sometimes that could just be being very aware of what you're doing. Right now. I am filming a video, and I'm talking into a microphone. And so I'm not thinking about what's coming after the video, and I'm not thinking what happened just before it. I'm here right now talking to you. And that's fully where my attention is. Although having even just mentioned those things does start to take your mind in those directions. So it is a real challenge to keep yourself fully present. And in the moment. What happens when you're doing a presentation though is if you get into worrying about Whether you're going to remember what you're saying or not, then you start to immediately become out of the present moment, and more likely to fluster yourself and to actually make that happen. In order to be as fully present as possible. I think one of the things that really helps me and it's been mentioned on other episodes on my podcast, some of the ones with my guests as well, is making sure that when you are speaking or presenting, that you're doing it for your audience, it's for them is for you. It's not for me, this is me channelling, hopefully my gifts of my knowledge through to you, hopefully, for your benefit, not for my gratification or for my ego. And when you take things from that kind of perspective, hopefully it allows you to be more present in the moment and to get focused on what you're actually delivering, and even some of the responses that you get. Now there are some techniques that can be very useful for you when you're on stage to help you be feel more present. One of them is called sometimes expanded awareness, or hakalau. Or you may hear it called different things. Essentially, it is just putting yourself into your peripheral vision and I say that, but not de-focusing everything. So I'm looking at the camera lens right now and I'm very focused on the eye of the camera. And as I look at that, I that would be my foveal vision. But as I if I allow myself to expand into the peripheral, I actually start to change my state. Now if I put my hands by the side of my head, now, I can see them on the screen, of course, but if I put the hands by the side of my head, I can also see my little fingers at least wiggling in the side and that means I'm in my peripheral vision. If you can practice that state as regularly as possible, you're going to find that you're going to feel better and it helps you to be more present. Foveal is a very focused state, peripheral vision allows you to see a lot more of what's going on. If you have a big audience, you'll start to notice things with the audience, you're not going to be seeing clearly specific faces. But you are going to notice movement, you might notice rapport or even lack of it, you might also start to get more of an awareness of responsiveness or lack of responsiveness from your audience in general, and you're going to feel better about yourself. Because really, it's a state that is a great state for presenting. And it's a great state for learning in as well. It's a really useful state to practice as much of the time as possible. In fact, one thing I experienced because I do find that I do this, most of the time, it's become more or less habitual for me, with several years of practice under my belt is going out and about even driving, walking, whatever it is, I noticed more of what other people are doing what's going on. I'm not saying this makes me super safe or anything like that. But sometimes I'm able to avoid things avoid potential dangers of bumping into people or things like that, because I have the more expanded awareness when I'm out and about. Also generally, it helps me to feel better, I feel pretty relaxed and calm because of it too. I think it's a great thing to practice if you want to practice it, all you have to do is look at a spot above eye level, focus on it, put all your foeal your vision on it, just look at that spot. And then allow yourself to shift into your peripheral vision. So you start to notice things that are going on more at the sides as well. You can certainly use your fingers or your hands to help guide and train your eyesight and bring your hands to somebody's head and see if you can wiggle your fingers. be looking at the thing that you're looking at looking at that spot and noticing your fingers moving at the side of your head. Then you have to look down and carry on with your work or whatever it is you're doing where you're presenting. This is why I say it takes practice, because not all of us are used to doing that all the time. This particular technique can have many other uses, and I'm sure some people would love to share them with me as well. Maybe you have a different name for it too. But I would use that as a great tool to help you be more present and in the moment, through your own presenting, through whatever it is you do, I think it's a great thing to use in all parts of your life as much as you possibly can. Because I think it's really useful apart from when you do need to be singularly focused, sometimes hard to be in your peripheral vision whilst you're reading a book, for example, but maybe not impossible. So I hope that's given you a few thoughts or ideas for being more present. It does make a huge difference with your relationship with the audience when you're not just trying to think about what you're saying next, but you're actually there in the moment and a big part of making that happen as well is making sure that you are as practised as you can possibly be with your presentation. Certainly, over a long period of presenting and giving talks, you may start to find it easier to give more improvised and spontaneous talks as you develop, but in the earlier days That's less likely some people can some people just finally can get up and talk about everything, and anything, and even be very entertaining lots of doing it. And that's a rare gift for the people who can. And one of the things that I am always very jealos of, even though I know it's a TV show is The Marvellous Mrs. Maisel that she just gets up and she talks and she's funny and she says what's on her mind, and I would be inspired to be able to be like that, I have to work a lot harder at it, it doesn't come quite so naturally. And you may find it doesn't come quite naturally for you as well. But that doesn't mean you can't get there to a point where it's easy for you to get up and comfortably talk and be present with an audience. If you're really present in your one to one conversations or smaller groups as well, you'll find that you hear more of what's going on that people feel that you're listening to the more an hour add that in any relationship in your life with your significant other, with family, with children especially, being fully present with them allows you to recognise that the quality of the time you spend together is far more important than the quantity of the time you spend together as well. Really listening and being present with each other is super valuable, and one of the best gifts you can give. So it is the greatest present as well. I'll be back on Friday with my episode with Matthew Dicks, which is all about storytelling is truly amazing. And for me, I feel it's one of the best podcast episodes I've ever recorded. So I'm looking forward to that. I hope you will be to make sure you check that out, download it, give it a listen, make sure you give it a like, please subscribe to the podcast if you haven't already done so. I've got lots of amazing guests lined up to come on the show as well and many more here. I'm setting up. I know that you're going to enjoy what's coming up soon on the show as well as plenty more information just for me as well in these shorter episodes. If you're watching this on YouTube, please remember to like and subscribe, leave a comment, YouTube likes that kind of stuff. And I like to get feedback from you as well. If you're watching or listening to this somewhere else, I'd love to hear from you. please do feel free to get connected. You can find my business Present Influence on LinkedIn or on my website present influence calm. You can find me on LinkedIn, John A Ball. And you can probably find other ways to get in touch with me as well. I'm on most of the social media platforms. And I would love to hear from you and get some feedback. Are there things you'd like me to talk about on the show people you'd like me to get on as guests? You can help me drive the show forward into the future, but some of the guests are coming up are absolutely incredible. This week is really amazing one if you haven't checked out my episode from last week with Dana Pharant talking about her life in a cult and how the cults control people and her escape from that and some of the effects that that's had further on into her life. Please check that out. It was an incredible episode and if you are interested In the darker side of influence and persuasion, I have a whole great series about that in the podcast, you can find the whole playlist on YouTube. And you can certainly find those episodes in the podcast playlist. Okay, I think that's enough for me. So I'm back again on Friday with the amazing interview with Matthew Dicks, and more for me next week, check out my daily videos on LinkedIn and YouTube as well. And I'll see you soon. I hope you've enjoyed this episode. If you have, please make sure to like and subscribe and come back for more great episodes and chats with amazing people. If you think you'd be a good guest for the podcast or you know someone who would, or you think I'd be a good guest for your podcast, please feel free to get in touch. You can email me, email@example.com if you think I'd be a good speaker for your event, or you'd like to learn more about public speaking presentation skills, whether that's online or in person, training, online products and services, video content, having clarity, confidence and charisma All during that, then please shoot me an email or visit my website, presentinfluence.com and I'll see you there.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai