Confession time. I do not like writing about public speaking anxiety. The subject is over-saturated,…
Power, personal power specifically, is often defined as the ability to influence people and events. I don’t disagree but the definition lacks a core. Power is not a veneer, it is not a lever or a conduit. What it is, is pure voltage because electricity is the core language of your body.
This is where the languages we speak fail us a bit but bear with me. I define power as the intentional focus of your values, strengths, and goals in support of your personal ecosystem (body, mind, spirit, etc). So that building power is a internal and deeply personal process. One that can be used in the world to both support your goals and yes, to influence people and events.
So how do we build this power? Through intention, repetition of things that make us feel it, and practicing its use in controlled environments.
If, for example, I have a goal to influence attendees of a meeting to side with me on a proposal. I need to build my proposed content so that it is clear and I am 100% confident in my command of the information I will present. There is also influence I can create in advance by interacting with the attendees be it by teasing the agenda, or building upon established rapport prior to the meeting. I can also make sure my body is ready for the work of presentation: prioritizing sleep, nutrition and hydration, warming up the voice, priming the breath, and setting my intention for the meeting.
My brain then becomes confident in my body’s ability to not only hold power but to flex it. This also makes it easier to use my power in real time. Importantly, power is not finite. If you respect those values, strengths, and goals within yourself your power will not be depleted. Also, that power is yours. You can give it up, though I don’t recommend it unless you are completely clear on why you would do that and when you will reclaim it, but it cannot be taken from you.
The task this week is simple. Spend a little time working on either building or strengthening your power. Be clear with yourself on your personal values, what you truly want, and what strengths/attributes you bring to the dance. Be a good custodian for the body you are in (it is the only one you are getting). And, let the knowledge of your true capabilities be a tangible force within you. Once you have that, go out and enjoy your influence. Just don’t forget that the power you seek is within you.
Gina Razón is the Founder and CEO at GROW Voice LLC, a full-service verbal communication studio in downtown Boston. She has over two decades of experience as a teacher of voice and speech, is a communication and change facilitator, and is a voraciously curious voice user. Gina has worked professionally as a classical singer and more recently as a professional public speaker. For more information on the studio or to book Gina visit www.growvoice.com.