Communications Insight For More Inspiring Leaders What Does It Take To Hold A Room?

What Does It Take To Hold A Room?

 9th Mar 2023
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What does it take to hold a room?

As in "really" hold it?

Immaculate scripting...? Non.

Carefully honed, deliberate gestures...? Nein.

Charging on stage to the sound of "Gangnam Style" before punching the ceiling...? I certainly hope not. At least, it never worked for me.

What it DOES take, in my experience, is a combination of the following - that you be:

Completely present. IN the room. With your audience.

Crystal clear on your intentions: for THEM.

Certain of the value of what you're communicating: for THEM.

Willing to put to one side the fear of "getting it wrong".

Conversing with your audience, rather than spouting at them.

A human being not an out loud script.

Prepared to show how you FEEL about your content, not just what you THINK about it.

Open to vulnerability where appropriate.

Willing to get personal - because it's ALWAYS personal.


Do these ideas imply emotional risk?


But there's always risk.

A presentation that's 100% risk-free is the #presentation that's never delivered.

Embrace the discomfort.

Cut loose.

And go get 'em...

#stage #publicspeaking #communication #leadership

The school is at the start of an ambitious and exciting journey. You have helped us set the standard for the remainder of the year and further ahead. I hope you will return to the school in the future and inspire subsequent cohorts of MPP students.


Professor Peter Kemp | Associate Director, The Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford

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