Discover Germany, Issue 29, August 2015

Page 127

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Page 127

Discover Germany | Special Theme | Coaching & Consulting

The Four Pillars of Presence: Inner Presence Outer Presence Clarity & Sense of Purpose Knowledge of Human Nature

“Here you need to understand how people think and are motivated. If you truly want to inspire, you have to be able to connect with people,”she explains.“And that takes a strong understanding of human nature.”

With international corporate clients from the fields of medicine, law, politics, business, education and the performing arts, the bilingual Baxter explains with a smile that there’s no one-size-fits-all method for overcoming mental fears and enlarging your presence. “Clients approach me for many different reasons, be it a presentation in English or an important and potentially challenging press conference with hordes of media and competitors.”Fittingly, Baxter tailors every session to help the individual executive to meet the demands of the situation, stressing the importance of learning to“stay in their centre”.

Since launching The Voice for Leadership, she’s had commissions from around the world, which she carries out alongside giving concerts, speeches and teaching at the university. Follow-up sessions are vital according to Baxter. “Mastering presence is about being aware of yourself and your surroundings. And it’s about connecting to everything and everyone around you. This takes time and commitment. That having been said, it is the most rewarding journey you will ever go on!”

The path to presence Citing a client in the medical industry, Baxter stresses the important work he undertook to master his inner presence. “We knew he’d be facing a situation in which he’d come under intense scrutiny from both the media and competitors. It was essential that he remained centred and focussed, so that he could masterfully answer all the questions in the press conference with ease and confidence.There was no room for unnecessary emotions.”Employing basic techniques that she has developed for herself on the stage and for her clients, Laura Baxter helped this client ace the press conference. physical presence. Communication is never solely about the spoken message, it’s about the emotions you want to evoke in the other person – and this stems from your presence.” The four pillars of presence While the word ‘presence’ is frequently bandied around these days, Baxter has an uncanny knack for distilling this buzzword. Much more than just a physical presence, she defines it as the electromagnetic field that we emit, and cites the four pillars as the inner presence, the outer presence, clarity and the knowledge of human nature.

Conversely, the outer presence is about owning the room; “having the courage to take the stage and the knowledge and skills necessary to expand the energy you emit.” While the inner presence and the outer presence apply to presentation skills in general, it’s the sum of all four pillars which creates a commanding presence in leadership. Clarity is vital. For that Baxter recommends posing questions, such as ‘is my message consistent? Are the processes clear? Is a clear outcome communicated?’ The final pillar, the knowledge of human nature, is about communicating and connecting with employees and customers.

Testament to her expertise on the subject of leadership and presence, Baxter won the Newcomer Casting Award in 2011 from the German Speakers’ Association for her keynote speech entitled‘The Power of Presence!’ As meticulous as preparing a piece of music, Baxter pays close attention to her clients, preparing bespoke sessions and adding extra elements that she believes are vital for enhancing their presence.

Laura Baxter Location: Erlangen Profession: Opera singer and professional vocal coach Field of work: leadership development, holding keynote speeches, and tailor-made coaching sessions and workshops on the topics of motivation, leadership and presentation skills.

Issue 29 | August 2015 | 127