Becoming present in the moment, leaving ego behind, and entering a state of personal power ”this is Seminar Leader Nadine Grant's goal for trainees in her "Become the Audience" training exercise. This tool enables the trainee to become aware of and attentive to any audience, be it one or one thousand, and to be 100 percent present in the moment. This tool is used in workshops, seminars , and break-out sessions to address issues of nervousness , fear, and authenticity. It is used when teaching presentation skills, speaking skills, teambuilding , and leadership. This is a presentation skills exercise, highly appropriate for anyone who gets the jitters when being in a leadership or facilitation position in a group , meeting, or seminar. It is a tool for building the foundation of communication and connection.

Nadine's premise in this activity is that the conscious mind can only hold one thought at a time. Thoughts of the past and/or the future cause undue nervousness, resulting in fear and dysfunction; often, time and thinking place us in the past or the future, disregarding the present. For example:

  • If I'm thinking, "I wonder if I'm as good as the speaker before me". That's comparison , and comparison breeds fear!

  • If I'm thinking, "I made a mistake". That's internal judgment , and internal judgment breeds fear.

  • If I'm thinking, "I wonder what the audience is thinking of me". That's external judgment and external judgment breeds fear.

Fear is negative, self-serving, and egotistical. Fear destroys authenticity and prevents one from being aware, attentive, and as good as one is. Without fear, anything is possible, because nothing and no one can hurt us. Without fear we are authentic , real, and dynamic!


  • Reduce presenter/speaker nervousness

  • Create positive energy by focusing on the audience

  • Develop rapport and speaker authenticity by being "present in the moment"

  • Engage in every communication as a transactional process


Participants have told us that this is their #1 tool to reduce nervousness and/or change nervousness into positive energy before making a presentation, formal or informal, to audiences of one to one thousand. The benefits include converting nervousness into positive energy, being present in the moment, and presenting information with authenticity.


  • To focus solely on the present

  • To eliminate fear


No special materials are needed.


No special setup is required.


10 minutes


  1. Set up: Introduce participants to the phrase, I N ow C hoose T o . These four words are powerful words because they are very specific to the process of being true to yourself, authentic to others, and believable to all audiences.


    because I can speak, decide, change myself only, never others.

    N ow

    because the present moment, NOW, is all there is.

    C hoose

    because it is my decision to think, feel, act this way.

    T o

    _____________________(FILL IN THE BLANK), indicates the action I choose to take now.

  2. Volunteers:

    Ask for two volunteers to come to the front of the room to be the speakers . Explain that you will be giving instructions to them and that no one will speak; not they, not the audience.

  3. Instructions to Volunteers (you are their inner voice as they focus on the audience)

    "Imagine you are going to be presenting in a few minutes. Become the audience by being aware, attentive, and present to them. Quietly notice:

    1. Percentage of men and women in the audience

    2. How many are wearing glasses ?

    3. Notice the variety of ages represented today

    4. Notice bright, brilliant colors; subtle, sophisticated colors

    5. Find Friendly Faces; spend some time with these faces (10 seconds)

  4. Debrief:

    1. Ask the speakers to turn their backs to the audience and tell us a few things they noticed that they had not previously been aware of.

    2. Ask: "How did you feel?" Common responses include calm, relaxed, comfortable. Even if you don't get the responses you want (calm, relaxed , comfortable) you can make the point that the goal of a speaker is to observe the audience and "listen" to their visual, nonverbal messages.

    3. Ask: "When you are the presenter, are you typically the observer or the observed ? What if you changed these roles and you became the observer? What happens when you focus 100 percent on the audience? About whom can you not be thinking? What happens to the ego, your selfconsciousness, your FEAR?"

    4. Become the Audience is a tool to control nervousness and fear by becoming aware, attentive, 100 percent focused. By becoming the "observed" and noticing the audience, you leave your ego behind and become present in the moment. This is the ultimate state of personal power.

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Name :

Nadine Grant


Grant Cross Communications


Group, Inc.


One Brighton


Oak Brook, IL 60523






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NADINE GRANT is a professional speaker, outsource business trainer, and cofounder and President of her own management consulting company. Nadine helps individuals and their organizations build communication bridges. Her interactive workshops, high-content seminars, spirited breakouts, and inspirational keynote speeches are applicable to business people in sales, service, and leadership positions . Nadine is codeveloper of Toolkit Connection programs that combine theory and practice to consistently manage change, communicate effectively, work as a team, and lead with success.

She incorporates more than 25 years of business experience and cutting-edge adult learning principles into her interactive presentations. Clients range from finance, government, and healthcare to professional associations and entrepreneurial enterprises . She works with organizations such as Amaco, Kraft Foods, Michigan State University, Northern Trust Bank, Veterans Administration, as well as small and mid- size businesses.

Nadine Grant is a member of The National Speakers Association (NSA) and Past President of NSA, Illinois, a member of The Chicago Society for Training and Development, and speaker for the American Cancer Society. She holds an undergraduate degree from Purdue University and a Masters Degree in Communications from DePaul University.

Nadine Grant has taught these AMA seminars:


Strategies for Developing Effective Presentation Skills


Effective Executive Speaking


Train the Trainer


Enhancing Your Presentation Skills: A Seminar for Sales Professionals


Projecting a Positive Professional Image

The AMA Trainers Activity Book. A Selection of the Best Learning Exercises from the Worlds Premiere Training Organization
The AMA Trainers Activity Book: A Selection of the Best Learning Exercises from the Worlds Premiere Training Organization
ISBN: 0814408141
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2004
Pages: 61

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