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Owning the stage

Owning the stage
When you are doing any kind of presentation, it is important that
you have a sense of ‘owning the stage’. Whether you are the first
or the tenth presenter on, when you get there in front of the audi-
ence, you have to own the stage. You have to convey to them:
“This is my place. I am at home here. I own it.” It helps ownership
to have made sure you have the stage set up exactly the way you
want it. So when you walk on stage, physically pick up a lectern,
put it over on the side, walk back to the centre, and then start off,
you have conveyed unconsciously to everyone in the group, “I am
in control. I am going to create the space that I want, in order to be
who I want to be. If I am behind a lectern, I’m not going to be in
the state I want to be in”. You might say: “OK. Do you want me to
speak here or not?” Having it the way you want it is important,
because when you have that, you can then own the space.
Before the audience arrives at your presentation take the time to
get comfortably familiar with the stage, and the surroundings, so
that you can be ‘at home’ there. ‘Walk the boards’. notice where
everything is, both on stage and in the auditorium. Sit in the audi-
torium, stand at the back, so you know what the audience will
see. Notice any ‘dead’ spots, and find where the most powerful
spot on the stage is. Even before you start, stand where you are
going to be presenting on the stage, and fill all the space with your
energy, of the appropriate quality. Expand your energy field to
fill the entire space, so that it is part of you.
Tad recalls, “Our major learning in this came from a training we
do in Hawaii. We start with an ancient Hawaiian hula ceremony,
and some of the hula dance performers are just four or five years
old, and many of them are in competition. There was one little
girl, about five, who was technically perfect at the hula, but she
had been getting only second or third place in the international
hula contests. So I spoke to her hula teacher and said, ‘There is
only one thing she needs to do. And then she will win every sin-
gle competition she enters. She is technically brilliant, but the only
thing she isn’t doing yet is owning the stage. She is there, doing it
perfectly, but the space isn’t hers.”‘
The next time we saw this girl dance, about three months later,
she came on and owned the stage. As she walked on her whole
presence gave out the message, “This is my stage. You are going
to watch me. I deserve all of your attention”. And she got it. You
could sense the energy shift in the audience instantly. Since then
she won her hula competition and a number of others as well -
because she now owns the stage.

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