Presence is an indicator of success and an “incredible powerful state”.
Presence is hard to define and is subjective.
However, it can be understood with verbal and non verbal cues.
It can be predicted by your “confidence, comfort level, and passionate enthusiasm”.
With presence, you can be yourself, be honest with yourself, be in the moment, connect with others, represent yourself well, and reveal the abilities you truly have.
Presence allows you to listen, to hear other people out and to be heard in return.
Presence establishes trust and creates influence.
Presence aligns your beliefs with yourself.
It comes from believing your own stories and from being authentic.
When we don’t believe in our own stories, we will have a hard time convincing others, we will come off as inauthentic and consequently lose confidence in ourselves.
To identify your boldest and most authentic self:
There are a few conditions that can destroy your Presence:
Impostorism makes you question your abilities and makes you worry about what other people think about you.
This condition is not unique to highly achieving women and is independent from the number of achievements received in life.
Not conforming to stereotypes or to social expectations make achieving Presence difficult.
Powerlessness makes you self-conscious, perturbs your self-image, and blocks your authenticity and your abilities.
You gain Presence by developing personal power.
Personal power is essential, removes fear, quiets inhibitions, protects you against your negative emotions, allows you to forgive easier and fluctuates in time.
In addition, your personal power makes you fearless, gives your more freedom, and makes you less susceptible to external pressures.
However, it can be acquired using different tactics. For example, you can use breathing techniques and power poses to trigger personal power.
When we have personal power, we tend to remain calm, to have more control and to expand ourselves in order to take place.
Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges by Amy Cuddy revolves mainly about managing your nonverbal cues to induce Presence, identifying your best authentic self, nurturing your boldest self, and creating personal power.
In Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges, Amy Cuddy:
I have to say, I enjoyed the topic of personal power the most. Often, we see leaders who are afraid of going against the grain, try to fit in and to please their team, only to find out that it’s an impossible task.
Some lead using their social power, leveraging salary for work but lack influence and personal power.
Needless to say, their success will depend highly on how they carry themselves, on their verbal and non verbal cues.
Presence stems from believing in and trusting yourself—your real, honest feelings, values, and abilities.
Presence, as I mean it throughout these pages, is the state of being attuned to and able to comfortably express our true thoughts, feelings, values, and potential.
A truly confident person does not require arrogance, which is nothing more than a smoke screen for insecurity. A confident person—knowing and believing in her identity—carries tools, not weapons. A confident person does not need to one-up anyone else. A confident person can be present to others, hear their perspectives, and integrate those views in ways that create value for everyone.
Power makes us approach. Powerlessness makes us avoid.
The feeling that arises from personal power is not the desire to have control; it’s the effortless feeling of being in control—lucid, calm, and not dependent on the behavior of others.
Amy Cuddy is a social psychologist who studies prejudice. Amy Cuddy is also the author of Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges.