A SPEAKERS OFF STAGE PRESENCE IS JUST AS IMPORTANT AS THEIR ON STAGE PERFORMANCE. THERE ARE THREE KEY ELEMENTS OF A SPEAKERS OFF-STAGE PRESENCE.
Let’s explore the power of our off-stage presence and learn how to live our messages, on and off the stage:
The realm of public speaking extends far beyond the stage.
The impact a speaker can have is not confined to the moments they spend behind the podium, delivering their meticulously prepared speech. In fact, their influence often seeps into their off-stage interactions and behaviors, sometimes resonating even louder than their on-stage performance.
This post explores the reasons why speakers must care about their off-stage presence, illustrating that it’s not merely about the performance, that ethos matters significantly off-stage, and emphasizing the importance of living the work they preach.
Public Speaking: More Than A Performance
Many perceive public speaking as a performance, an act that begins when you step on stage and ends when you step off. But recent research has revealed that audiences perceive authenticity not only from what is said on stage but also from what they observe outside of it (Hahl, Kim, & Zuckerman Sivan, 2018).
The way a speaker interacts with people off-stage, the values they demonstrate, and their off-stage demeanor all contribute to their overall perceived authenticity.
Public speaking, therefore, is not merely a performance but a continuous act of expressing and living one’s truth.
The Importance of Ethos Off-Stage
The ethos of a speaker, their personal credibility, is not solely established on stage.
It’s forged and reinforced in the moments off-stage, where audience members can observe a speaker’s actions and behaviors without the influence of stage lights or a tailored script.
In fact, a study published in the Journal of Communication found that a speaker’s credibility is often more influenced by their off-stage persona than their on-stage presence (Meyer, Marchionni, & Thorson, 2010). This underscores the importance of maintaining integrity, professionalism, and authenticity both on and off stage.
Living The Work They Preech
It’s imperative for speakers to embody the ideas they promote on stage.
Audiences can sense when a speaker genuinely practices what they preach, and this authenticity serves to reinforce the speaker’s message and foster a deeper connection with their audience.
As Professor Jim McNamara from the University of Technology Sydney pointed out in his research, speakers who embody their message in their daily lives are more likely to gain audience trust and make their message resonate (McNamara, 2019).
Caring about off-stage presence is a fundamental aspect of impactful public speaking.
It’s not enough to deliver a compelling performance on stage; speakers must also demonstrate authenticity and credibility in their off-stage interactions and live the work they preach. By doing so, they can create a lasting impact that goes beyond the stage and truly resonates with their audience.