I was with a debater friend when the topic 'stage presence' came up. He said that some had it and some didn't, mentioning a few debaters' names. He said that having stage presence meant that when one got up to speak, people would immediately pay attention. Their eyes would be drawn to that person. He thought that tall people naturally had stage presence, if only because they stood taller than others. When I thought about it, I realized he was right. But however, not ALL tall people had stage presence. And I knew why.
To have stage presence, one essential element is CONFIDENCE.
Some tall people hide themselves, hunching their shoulders and bending their heads. Some would speak with soft voices, They wanted to disappear. Literally. Maybe they were embarrassed about their height, maybe they didn't want to stand out. Which is such a pity, really. People who stand out can influence others, can help others.
Imagine a teacher with influence.... such a teacher can literally MAKE students believe him and make students WANT to learn from him. Whoa...powerful stuff.
However, too big a topic. Let's go back to debating.
When it comes down to the line, a debater with all the words and evidence in the world will not win against against another who has stage presence. How many times have I been frustrated with outcomes that tell me how important stage presence is?
All this while, my coaching has been treating stage presence as something to be handled towards the end....but now I'm focusing on it first thing to be fixed.