Developing Your Stage Presence

The Public Speaking Club invited HBS Alum, Businessman and Entrepreneur Stever Robbins to lead 200 participants on how to develop a powerful stage presence.

Stage presence. You will probably be happy to know that you do not need prior acting or theatre experience to possess this useful quality. Nor do you have to be born with it. What this means is that with the proper tools and instruction, you can learn it.

On Thursday, October 26, 2006, Stever Robbins, HBS MBA ’91, showed 200 participants how to develop a powerful stage presence in his presentation entitled Developing Your Stage Presence. A businessperson and entrepreneur since the late 1970s, Robbins co-founded the early internet success story FTP Software, and has been a part of nine high-tech start-ups, three IPOs, and three acquisitions.

Robbins began developing business leaders as a member of Harvard Business School’s Leadership and Learning curriculum redesign project and has been an advisor and mentor to senior managers in several high-growth companies. He currently serves as CEO of The Stever Robbins Company, where he coaches executives and high-potential leaders. Robbins is also a member of the career coaching staff at Harvard Business School.

During Developing Your Stage Presence presentation, Robbins shared techniques for adopting the right mental attitude in front of a group, dealing with the unexpected, short-circuiting hecklers and of course, having a powerful stage presence. He addressed issues relevant to an MBA audience, yet grounded in practical experience. Robbins also did a dynamic job covering the following topics in great detail:

 Managing your emotional state so you can present to groups more effectively.
 Connecting with your audience through the careful choice of language.
 Working with emotions as well as with content as you prepare and deliver your message.
 Dramatically changing your presence through subtle body shifts.

Developing Your Stage Presence was an excellent presentation and extremely helpful. Robbins encouraged participants to have fun, speak powerfully, and push the limits of what they can do with an audience.

The Public Speaking Club routinely features outstanding speakers to help HBS students learn from the world’s best communicators. On November 29, 2006 at 4:00pm in Burden Auditorium, we will host Joe Girard. Named The World’s Greatest Salesperson, Girard was featured in the Harvard Business Review and Guinness World Records for selling the most big ticket items “one-at-a-time.” Any questions? Email the Public Speaking Club’s VP of Operations, Constance Jones, at

November 6, 2006
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