Presence! We all know when someone has it. We also can tell when someone doesn’t have it. But what is IT? I have spent much of my adult life exploring presence, originally as a dancer, then a yoga teacher, and now as a public speaking presence coach and photographer.
While my primary work is now on helping people become more confident and authentic speakers with presence, my photography has given me insights and inspiration into what, in fact, presence is.
I have discovered that whatever I deliberately focused my camera on – which could be the most mundane object – seems to acquire a quality of presence in the photographic image. I have begun to call this “revealed” presence – the ordinary becoming extraordinary simply by revealing it through my camera lens.
In my speaking presence coaching work this has led to a new understanding that presence isn’t just something we “have”, but also something we “give”, by turning our attention from ourselves and focusing instead on our audience. We “reveal” their presence by attending to them, letting them know they are important to us, and they in turn ascribe presence to us.
My intention for this blog is to share an image of revealed presence each day. Some days the image will come from something I’ve discovered that day, and on other days I will draw from my photographic archives.
I find that provocative questions can also reveal what is truly important and present to us in the moment and engage us with the photo in a different way, and so each day I couple the photo with a question.
I hope that you will find this a useful way to reflect on the day for yourself just as it is for me.