The art of entering a room, better known in in the Entertainment industry as, ‘making an entrance’ is all about having and developing a stage presence, charm and confidence. Everyone dreams of being a star, a light that brightens up a room! This requires confidence in a combination of characteristics such as; body language, thought process and state of being (body, mind and spirit). Mastering all three will result in the right confidence for making an entrance.
The first impression we make is important and we only have a few seconds to make or break our standing in every situation. For many years I studied and observed people in different environments in order to understand why a crowd would follow or gravitate towards some people. I also observed how people enter rooms, be it for job interviews, meeting potential in-laws, networking, board or business meetings, conferences, weddings, prayer meetings, luncheon/dinner at restaurants and other public events. I find the outcomes easily predictable.
For many years, entering a room was approached thus; Frederick Collins summed it up; “There are two types of people – those who come into a room and say, “Well, here I am,” and those who come into a room and say, “Ah, there you are.” In networking situations I have observed individuals as they try to be one or the other. In reality we should be both, and much more besides, when entering a room. There is so much more to making an entrance than ‘here I am’ or ‘there you are’.
The way we present ourselves has a big part to play in entering a room. As adults we carry a lot of invisible baggage with us. We wear our background, past experiences and cultural environment as a cloak. A young man or woman looks radiant in their prime, but soon the baggage begins to show. The trick is not to try to change who we are because that is what makes each of us unique, instead we should make it work for us and not against us.
I once attended an event in Japan, where no one knew me, or what I do for a living. Using the mind-set I had cultivated, developed, and taught to others, for over thirty years, I conquered an impossible room and even got introduced to the guest of honour (not normally done). As my Japanese chaperon put it: “Patti San, everything about you says you must be someone important. They are right, you are not the type of black person we see in Japan.” She later informed me: “Patti San, the Honourable Guest wanted to be introduced to you, this is a great honour for a foreigner in Japan.”
The whole room wanted to meet me, to know who I was. Some asked me if I am a Princess. It’s definitely a God given gift and so I give God the glory and pass it on to others!
We all desire and need an effortless presence and charm when entering a room, it is an investment worth making. Whether we are rich, famous or not, we can still turn heads. This should be because of our essence, not just because of what we are wearing or the entourage we have acquired. The whole idea of making an entrance is being a ‘star’ among stars, oozing charm and owning your environment, no matter where you are.
Remember that charm is not about us. It’s all about other people. We have to charm others in other to be charming. We can’t fake it, but the good news is, we can develop a charming character. It is best to avoid putting on airs and graces or trying to look important. If we are important we don’t have to put it on or announce it. We simply are important. If we think ourselves as special and do our best to let everyone know it, we are portraying the wrong type of confidence and we are probably perceived as not important. It is known that in some quarters, the wrong confidence comes over as masking an inferiority complex.
A famous star once went up to a receptionist demanding to see her boss. He had no appointment and was asked to wait. “Do you know who I am?’ He demanded. “Why sir, don’t you?” she asked.
I have met many ordinary people with more dignity than some self-appointed important people. Having credentials or being rich financially does not mean we have charm, nor does it automatically give us a dignified presence when we enter a room. Some people use money to pay for false attention a type of ‘rent a crowd’. That is completely different from possessing natural dignity.
When I tutor my clients in the art of entering a room, it is with the belief that everyone is special! But, we are only truly important when a complete stranger who has no knowledge of our position or title says so. Ideally, this should happen because we are portraying the special qualities God created in each of us. Many times, I have witnessed very wealthy people being jealous of someone whom I know has no wealth to speak of, but simply oozes class and confidence.
If like me you have wondered why, when we watch twenty or more identically dressed people on stage or in a room, one or two stand out more than the others? The reason is they have certain presence learned during their childhood or taught by Bipada type expert. I passed on what I learned, especially from my mother, to my children. I have tutored known personalities in the secret of stage presence and entering a room. Some of my clients may surprise you.
It is about polishing our approach without changing who we are. In our modern over crowded, visual and highly competitive world, the only way to truly stand out and shine above others is through the application of high standard of self-development. We bring this with us every time we enter a room.
We are all spiritual beings, so when we enter a room, people should feel our presence as well as see us, before they even hear us! That is star quality! Trust me, it is the training and quality that transcends all cultures, race and borders. It makes good sense to obtain this training for your children alongside their education, unless of course they happen to be at Eton.
The entertainment industry demands a confidence that is based on openness. I don’t believe anyone can learn that type of confidence from a book or via websites. It has to be learned in practice, and through those who have first hand experiences, as well as good understanding of international human mores. In my late teens I had the honour of appearing with the late actor Michael Denison. As ‘Yum Yum’ in the Black Mikado. I was always nervous and frightened of failure due to lack of experience in the entertainment industry. Michael, who had been a film star for over fifty years, told me I had the right confidence for a performer and more likely to achieve stardom than the rest of the confident performers. He said I had a vulnerability that makes the audience want to protect me. What exactly is confidence? Healthy confidence is knowledge! Knowing the truth, your limitations, how you come across to others, your place in the scheme of things and behaving in a way that transmits it to everyone you meet.
Showing too much confidence can annoy others and can be harmful to the individual and cause a person to over estimate their own capabilities. We look foolish if our show of confidence does not match others perception of us. We will also look pathetic if we rate ourselves higher than we should. Like a person who is convinced they can sing, but blatantly cannot, or think they have class when they clearly do not. But the right kind of confidence has humility at its centre. It means learning to live with the ups and downs of life instead of expecting everything to be perfect, or everyone to like you.
Being confident starts with small changes in our thought process and body language. Once we have confidence we don’t have to think about it.
I have tutored many young people whose personality had been ruined by their parent’s wealth. We owe it to our loved ones to give them a taste in being the centre of attraction for the right reasons. Help then learn to be their true selves so they can enter a room and own it. They will also be a credit to you.
It is all down to the image we want to present to the world and how effective we want it to be. Today's world is more visual and competitive than ever, especially for young people. It is hard for our children to achieve the right presence without extra help. Polishing and magnifying our God given unique character gives us that certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ when entering a room. Bipada specializes in this topic and can help you and your loved ones achieve this, as we have done with many clients.
The art of entering a room is definitely a must have for everyone.
We work with individuals to increase their ability to stand out. Everyone profits from training sessions on topics such as this, bringing huge benefits to their personal, public and professional life. An article by Patti Boulaye MD of Bipada Academy in Business Chronicle