• Scott Stiefvater

Are you a 'pushover' when you present?

Updated: Nov 25, 2020

We usually think of the term pushover in a figurative sense: someone who is easily influenced. But think of pushover in a literal sense: someone who is easily pushed over. In speaking, if your listeners observe you as easily pushed over, i.e. not grounded, their minds tend to tell the story that you are easily influenced, i.e. not a leader.

If you have video of you speaking on stage, review it while tracking your 'groundedness.' Does it look like it would be easy to nudge you off balance or does it look like it would be difficult? Even as you take steps across the stage, do you convey groundedness?

To practice groundedness:

  1. Stand with your feet under your hip sockets. Close your eyes and take a deep breath. As you exhale, feel your whole body sinking down into gravity through your feet.

  2. Think of your feet as each having four legs like a short, sturdy table; two legs on either side of your heel and two on either side of the ball of your foot. Breath again and sink down into these contact points with the ground.

  3. Study the feeling of being grounded.

  4. Speak now as if to one individual (it may help to have a framed portrait to target). Stay in place but without any rigidity in your upper body. Track your groundedness as you talk expressively. Try to maintain it. Once you've got that...

  5. ...speak as if on a wider stage (it may help to spread out three framed portraits). Try walking as if across stage to land at a new point while maintaining groundedness throughout.


© 2021 by Scott Stiefvater,

(anti) Presentation Coach


Tel: 925-586-3517

San Francisco Bay Area


  • LinkedIn - White Circle

Schedule a Session: