Our recent weekend workshop on Presence was fantastic. We used Playback Theatre to touch on each participant’s ‘Presence’ and this enabled a very deep and personal exploration of Presence, and combined with other exercises, very rewarding.
So what is Presence? We believe Presence can be seen as various interconnected elements. It cuts to the core of who we are, how we relate and how people perceive us. Playback trainers approach Presence as made up of a combination of the following principles;
Being Expressive; body language, voice, emotion, words and energy
Being in Relationship; being flexible, responding, listening without judgement and thinking on your feet
Being Grounded; breathing, emotional and physical self awareness and being ‘in the moment”
Having Intention; focused, authentic emotion and clarity of action
These principles are vital to establishing and maintaining Presence either one-on-one or in a team or group. Sometimes one element may be more stressed than another but can you imagine how a person’s Presence would be affected if one or even two of these elements were missing?
I think the impact would be considerable. For instance, if you were grounded, intentioned and expressive but not in relationship you could be perceived as self-centred. Or if you were intentioned, expressive and in relationship but not grounded – maybe you’d be seen as flighty?
The major challenge for us all as individuals is to be active in each of these Presence elements in a given moment – it’s a fine balance.
Utilising Playback Theatre alongside other theatre exercises, during our workshop, gave us a great opportunity to analyse and practice this. Yes there were challenges for everyone – but of course this is where one grows most! Have a think for yourself about which element would be most challenging for you. Then once identified, you can work on it when you’re next in need of displaying more Presence!