Laura Baxter is an American opera singer, trainer and international keynote speaker who has been rocking the stage in Europe with examples of how to take the stage and own the room! She lives in Germany and works with executives and speakers worldwide to help them exude presence. Laura is currently writing the book “Dealing with Divas”.
What singers and speakers have in common
A lot, almost everything. First of all, our job as speakers and singers is to move the audience and inspire them in a way that they have never been inspired before. You have to remain healthy, you’ve got to have voice when you’re getting up at the stage, you must have a routine for you to keep you strong. PR and how you build your audience is similar too.
The only real difference between the speaking world and the singing world is the content. As a singer the story is there, as a speaker we have to decide what message to give to the audience.
Laura’s secrets of presence from the Operatic world
Presence is a word with several meanings, inner presence and outer presence. There are three clear elements that speakers can learn from the operatic world:
- Inner presence. Musicians have to do well, you are connected to your center. In your operatic world, you can’t do that without deep breathing. Another is how to deal with mistakes: if you make a mistake, you just keep going.
- Clarity. On the operatic stage, we all know what the goal is. There are very clear goals, procedures, and rituals (e.g. how to greet the conductor is clear worldwide). As a speaker it’s very important to have a clear goal and keep it on your mind at all times. You must create daily rituals that you follow: enough sleep, stay healthy for your voice and body, etc.
- Outer presence. Be aware of the room: size, acoustics of the room, technicalities around you. Speak to the back wall and back, hear your own echo, so you will control how you will sound in the room. Also, we have an energetic field that we emote into the room, can be trained to be large or small.
Related: Peak Performance for Public Speakers
“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” — Maya Angelou
“It all started with a mouse.” — Walt Disney
Across that Bridge by John Lewis
No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt by Doris Kearns Goodwin
Anything that Richard Bach ever wrote (Jonathan Livingston Seagull, Illusions, etc.)
Love is letting go of Fear by Gerald Jampolsky
Mandala of Being by Richard Moss
The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
Alpha Leadership by Robert Dilts
Hero’s Journey by Robert Dilts and Stephen Gilligan
Motivation Manifesto by Brendon Burchard
The Unwinding by George Packer
Routine to Shine
- Find a routine for yourself. Remaining healthy is super important.
- Create a strategy for your speaking, your business, how to reach your audience, and implement it.
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