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All the World's a Stage?

As an International Professional Speaker, I am often approached about the mystery, excitement, and conquering…of the stage.  In every book of fears, public speaking tends to be right up there in the top three.  And yet I know “all the world’s a stage.”


There is a misconception that stage presence has to do with drama, control, and even fibbing to make a story more believable.  I say that isn’t true.


Whether capturing an audience of one or many, the tools needed for this task are amazingly the same. 


  1. Yes you have to be prepared before you present.  If you were “presenting”  ANY proposal (even one for marriage) you better be organized in your thinking and to the point!  If you are rambling, in-direct, and using allot of slang (“you know” “like” “um”) you can count on not getting a positive response!


  1. Passionate.  In any presentation, people are moved by how much you believe in what you are saying.  I’ve actually seen instances where the wrong decision was made, JUST because the person was so passionate in swaying the listener.


  1. The tone of voice is just as important as the words.  Did you know that research has shown the lower, stronger voice gets more positive responses than a softer one?  And this is something that can be altered with a simple breathing technique!


  1. Authenticity.  People are smarter and savvier today.  They can see right through someone who is pushing an idea for their own sake.  Someone who doesn’t care about the listener and feels that their own words are music to their own ears.


  1. Physical must match the verbal.  There’s nothing more confusing than when someone is making two points while holding up three fingers.  Or someone who is angry about an issue, yet smiling.  Very little of our communication is verbal, so paying attention to your appearance (can people see those eyebrows?) and your body gesturing is imperative.  And remember, ALL the world is a stage…that means avoid common gestures, that to you may seem natural, but would definitely be offensive to other cultures!


CSP Sheryl Nicholson, is an International Professional Speaker, Business Author, and Presentation Skills Coach.  You will have permission to reprint and use this article by contacting her office at 727.678.6707 or emailing directly at  You will find more articles at

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