Writer, executive coach, Stanford lecturer, and speaker Olivia Fox Cabane opens her book The Charisma Myth: How Anyone Can Master the Art and Science of Personal Magnetism with an amazing story about Marilyn Monroe.
I am paraphrasing a bit, but essentially, it was 1955 and Marilyn wanted to prove a point. On a sunny summer day in New York City, Marilyn entered Grand Central Terminal with a photographer following along. The platform was packed with people and no one seemed to notice her. She rode the train and nobody paid any attention to her. She was just another commuter on a busy workday.
When she resurfaced on the busy New York sidewalk, she mischievously turned around, looked at the photographer and asked, “Do you want to see her?” Without any grand gestures, she fluffed up her hair, and struck a pose. With this simple shift, she was magnetic and everyone noticed Marilyn. Time stood still and fans flocked around her.
With an intentional shift, Norma Jean Baker stepped into the magnetic presence of Marilyn Monroe. Imagine such a well known, charismatic, and feminine women making simple changes in her stance and body language and suddenly she draws everyone in and they marvel at her beauty and grace.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could learn a repertoire of tools that transforms your presence and lets you shine? Do you want to feel like you are at your authentic best in your next interview, sales presentation, or networking event?
If you have been following this blog and my work, you know I believe that presence can be learned and developed.
My own story is one of transformation. I was always shy and did everything I could so I wouldn’t stand out or be seen. That mode of behavior really backfired when I started my own business! I struggled with networking and was terrified of introducing myself and telling people what I offered. My inability to own my value and put myself out there was holding me back and I wasn’t sure if I could keep my business going. I received an invitation to an Art of Feminine Presence class and what I learned about presence that day gave me hope and ultimately influenced every aspect of my life.
I am thrilled when I find materials from experts like Cabane who are speaking the same truth. One of the ingredients Ms. Cabane mentions in developing charisma is the behaviors of presence that relate to mindfulness. The quickest pathway to being present (or mindful) is to tap into our bodies and focus on things like breath and being grounded. The tools I have learned through the Art of Feminine Presence and which I now teach embody those same practices.
So, what does developing and practicing presence lead to? For myself, it means I can lead networking groups without getting bogged down in finding the perfect words or wondering if people are judging me. I am comfortable shooting a video presentation and I don’t worry about being perfect because I know my authentic confidence will shine through.
The women I work with go through their own similar transformations when they learn and use the tools in my Present With Confidence and Art of Feminine Presence classes. Coaching women and watching them light up when they hit those moments of really embodying the work is what drives me. They, and everyone in the room, are drawn in and marveling at what’s beautiful about who they are, what they’re saying, and how it feels to be present and in another’s presence. It’s as if they are wearing a huge, glittering gem that has just been polished and people can’t stop looking at its magnificence.
Want to uncover your own inner “Marilyn” and shine bright like a diamond? Please join me for the full day Present with Confidence: Maximize Your Message workshop on July 25th. I’ll share the best practices that have been a game changer for myself and the women I have worked with in a hands-on experiential and supportive environment. You’ll walk away with tools that you will use every day of your life. Just click on the link, scroll down, and fill out the registration form and I’ll see you soon!