The Power of Presence

The Power of Presence (Part 1)

I was doing a teleseminar presentation to a group of speakers and trainers this past Monday night. This was the first of three calls in four hours I was doing, and mere minutes into the call, I knew something was off.

I had that "disembodied voice" feeling. You know the one I mean?

I could hear myself talking, but my voice seemed to be coming from somewhere out side of me, and I was rambling on – completely on autopilot.

Did you ever see that video of the car with the gas pedal and steering wheel stuck, going in circles at 30 miles per hour? That’s not too far from how I was starting to feel.

Why was I in that state?

Well a couple of minutes before I got on the call I was telling a friend of mine about the second call I had scheduled for that night. I decided I was going to just "show up and do a stream of consciousness" on the topic, completely in the moment.

While I’m sure he meant well, his response was something like, "Holy crap are you crazy? They’re recording that as an infoproduct and you’ve never talked on this subject before! Dude, you’re in deep s**t".

Thanks, "pal".

Now, I do know better than to let that kind of "negathinking" get to me – it rarely does anymore. I’ve learned to trust that I do some of my best work when I just let myself show up with intention to just serve and share in the moment.

Don’t get me wrong, I show up in places where I feel like I know what I’m talking about…but I prefer to be guided in the moment by participants and conversation more than having a "pat" presentation.

But this time, that little voice started nagging…

"But Lou…What if this time, nothing comes to you?"

"If your colleagues, prospective clients and partners here you bomb, that could be the end your career!"

"What if you go totally blank and have nothing to say?"

Yada, yada, yada….

You know that voice?

That damned, treacherous voice…I call it "The Trusted Enemy"(tm)

So in a nanosecond I go from relaxed comfort, feeling passionate and purposeful to a state of fear, doubt and anxiety.

Well, there I was…right in the middle of a teleseminar with a group of my favorite people, the people I most enjoy supporting, the people I want to give my best to…and I’m having a friggin’ out of body experience.

Great timing.

I remember thinking my energy felt dry and mechanical, almost forced — can you say "CP3O"?

I was requesting responses lethargically and I’d get one or two meek replies and just move on (by the way, god bless those two folks on the call that responded – whoever you are!)

To compensate for the bad line, I started shouting into the receiver. Well, that wasn’t working when the line was bad…I wonder what I put those poor people through after I dialled back on a good connection and kept right on shouting at them.

To top it off, I had put together a very special offer that I was excited about and proud to share with this group. Through the fog of that chatter in my head the offer felt hollow and remote to me. And, frankly, the results showed it.

As the clock ticked past the top of the hour, my anxiety heightened, as I realized I was shaving precious time off the few moments I had to prepare for the next call.

As if I could really do anything by then anyway.

I rushed through the Q&A, dismissed the last few questions and "waved" a hurried goodbye as I bolted off the call.

I wasn’t happy about it, but I was relieved to end the suffering (mine and, I project, theirs).

My friend, who was hosting the call, rang me up right away and I shared my feelings.

Bless him, he did his level best to reassure me that it all served a purpose, and that it was meant to go that way for a reason, and what was the lesson to be learned.

But geez, I was having none of it. I wasn’t in the mood for spiritual mumbo jumbo and platitudes right now (at least that’s what my Trusted Enemy was telling me).

All I knew is that I had 26 minutes before the next call…


In my next post I’ll share with you the experience and results of the two subsequent calls.

Before then, I’d love for you to post and tell me if you’ve experienced this kind of thing yourself and, whether you did or not, what strategies do you know that work FOR YOU this kind of situation, and what would you have done in those 26 minutes?

Until then, sign up for the next f’ree Teleseminar Fortunes Intensive preview call, and see how I do…LOL. For a current schedule and teleconference access info, send a blank email here.

Until the next post, here’s wishing you success and fulfillment,


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6 Enlightened Replies

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  1. bcbwv says:

    Before speaking I always do this ritual: Take a moment to breathe, connect my higher self up with the Universal Knowing (UK), and ask for guidance that whatever I say be for the highest an best good of all. That always works. Now that I have learned EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) whenever the pre-speaking doubts come up (and they do), first I do my EFT tapping on the feelings and thoughts, then, I do the UK Guidance Ritual and Trust that all will be as it is intended. Thanks so much for sharing this experience, Lou! I admire your courage~ Namaste, Aila "Your Get A Grip Coach"

  2. findyourvoice says:

    Hi, dear friend, Lou, Wowsers…such an uncomfortable time, yet fascinating as well. What a good name… "trusted enemy"…that voice of old nay-saying. Yes, I had an experience similar to this. Years ago, when I was "the voice department faculty" (one person, only) at Florissant Valley Community College, I worked for a year to prepare a faculty recital. (You know, demonstrating for my students, etc.) This was a big, hairy classical concert, so to speak, singing English, Spanish, German, Italian, et al. So I needed to concentrate. Well, right into the second set of songs, I heard this loud voice in my head say, "I don't want to do this anymore." Ye gads! Not now, I thought. It started blathering while I was singing Spanish or something. Loudly. Well, during this long song, I finally got it to shut up by saying, "I hear you." "We will seriously talk about this later. I think you're right…I don't want to do this anymore." However, "we" needed to talk later. I really wanted to complete a stunning faculty recital. I did, fairly much. One of my students asked me later if something had happened during that song, and I said…"Oh yes…a life changing conversation began at that inopportune moment." 🙂 During the next few weeks I made plans to re-enter graduate school. I did. Now, 26 years later, I'm still in private practice doing psychotherapy, writing, and am back in school once more: coaching school. I also converted my knowledge of singing into creating voice coaching for public speaking during that same year as the faculty recital…"Find Your Voice (R)." I'm glad my true Self spoke up. It just picked a very weird and difficult time (similar to what you experienced) to do so. However, I listened, and I'm now doing my soul's work. I hope you, Lou, got some very useful "information" from your weird, out-of-body foggy time, too. Can't wait to hear about your journey and realizations! Love, Nicki

  3. jeff_meyer999 says:

    The quick fix is to get back into the present by touching objects in the room or simply focusing your attention on various objects until you get yourself back in the body and in the NOW.As far as understanding the significance, you can delve into that at a more appropriate time.Jeff Meyer

  4. Anonymous says:

    Everyone has this experience, whether it's before speaking to an audience, or how about during our daily interactions with people. We get distracted, we lose our presence, we forget to be in the moment, or in the now. One technique I learned from NLP is to "stop the world", stop the twirling around and within ourselves, and just pay attention to what is. This can be done anywhere: pick a point ahead of you, a spot on the wall, an object, anything. Focus your eyes on it for a few seconds and breathe in and out. Become aware, as you are focusing on this spot that you are also aware of things in the periphery, as you are focusing on that spot, let your awareness expand to what's on your left… on your right… what is beneath you…. the infinity above you… and as you are still focusing on that dot, become aware that you are also able to feel, hear, visualize what is behind you… Practice this often, and in a moment like the one you describe, it will be easier and quicker to re-focus using this technique. Try it! Julie

  5. Wendy Williams says:

    Lou,How nice of you to share this story with such candor. Very cool . . .When I get nervous or flustered during a speech I usually stop, take a sip of water and ground while I drink the water. Grounding is a meditation/yoga/martial arts technique that is very simple, easy to learn and can be done anywhere, anytime and very quickly once you have practiced for a short while.WendyMeditation For Mastery.Com

  6. Sally says:

    Hi Lou, I remember once being asked to do a 15 min presentation to about 20 Doctors on the subject of complementary medicine. It was part of a much larger 3 day seminar taking place at one of our teaching hospitals. Being such a short session I didnt bother to prepare anything at all. When my time came I was ushered up on to the main stage, in front of 850 doctors and told not to get off for 45 mins! Can you imagine my reaction! So I staggered up to the lecturn and admitted my terror, adding that at least I knew I would be in the right place if I did faint! And I admitted I hadnt prepared, so I told them I was just going to tell them about a day in my clinic, share some case histories and they could ask as many questions as they liked. They all seemed interested, but when I felt I was drying up, I asked if they had any questions and they all sounded like one of your CP classes when you ask who wants to coach. Dead Silent! Then I realised they were terrified too, and none of them would have coped up there any better than me. So in came the Dutch courage. I launched myself into an empty seat in the front row, stuck my hand up in the air and asked myself a question. Then I threw myself back on to stage and answered it. It worked. Everyone was laughing, and before I knew it I was swamped with questions that took us well over the hour. The lesson – now I dont take myself so seriously, less significance more game in your lingo Lou! And if I find Im jumbling my words and talking backwards I just tell my students Im going to take a moment to unlax and rewind! Hope that helps!Sally