Presence is a funny concept.
Most of us think we know what it means. All of us hope we have it.
Dictionary.com defines it as the ability to project a sense of ease, poise, or self-assurance, especially the quality or manner of a person’s bearing before an audience.
I’m of the opinion that presence isn’t at all subjective. I think it comes down to the air itself.
At its core, sound is a disruption of air particles in space. Something (air, body parts, objects, etc.) disrupts the elastic net of air. This causes a cascade effect as the air particles try to maintain their shape and relationship to each other.
Humans excel at ignoring the feel of the air around us most of the time but some disruptions are intense enough to awaken our senses. When this awareness accompanies a person, we call it presence.
Presence lives in:
- A person who is breathing fully and being generous with air.
- Someone who is physically centered, and wears the poise of confidence (whether they are actually feeling confident or not).
- One who displays open physicality and ease of movement (within their parameters).
- Whose words are full of breath energy.
- Who seeks to connect in the room.
- A person whose content is intentional and clear.
In short, Presence isn’t easy. But, anyone can attain it by just trying to add one or more of these characteristics to your voicing. Go ahead, get out there today and move the air.
Gina Razón is the principal voice specialist at GROW Voice LLC, a full-service voice and speech studio in Boston’s Back Bay. She has over 16 years of experience both as a teacher of voice and speech, and a voraciously curious voice user. Gina has worked professionally as a classical singer for over a decade and more recently as a professional public speaker. For more information on the studio or to book Gina visit www.growvoice.com.