Wouldn’t you love to command a room with nothing more than your physical presence?
Runway coach Etirsa South can help.
She helps models, corporate clients, and female entrepreneurs develop their unique style of presenting themselves.
With a few simple tips, you can feel cool, confident, and powerful—no matter how nervous you feel on the inside.
What You’ll Learn
Without the mind, the body’s not going to follow.”
You’ve seen THOSE women.
Heads swivel when they walk into a room.
All it takes is one glance to know THIS woman is important. She’s someone you should pay attention to.
It doesn’t take the body of a supermodel to command a room.
What it takes is presence.
When you’re present, you’re centered in your body. You’re not stuck in your head, worrying about how you’re going to be perceived. You’re focused on the here and now. You’re aware of what’s happening in your body: where it’s tense, where stress is located. You’re breathing deeply into those places, consciously centering yourself.
“Some people don’t know what that feels like,” Etirsa says. “I’ve had people burst into tears before when they realize that they are breathing fully—full breaths—for the first time.”
Where most of us go wrong is focusing exclusively on our appearance. Am I wearing the right outfit? Am I standing up straight? Are my shoulders back?
But Etirsa encourages her clients to look inside.
“I get my clients to a place to where they are centered,” she says. “They’re paying attention to what’s going on in their body, what they’re feeling. And then from there we move into the physical.”
As part of learning to be more grounded, she asks her clients to take a physical inventory. How are they feeling? Where are they feeling stress? Is there tension in the shoulders, the hands, the chest?
Then “literally breathe … into that part of the body.” Consciously relax your body. Do this every time you need to walk into a room and make a great first impression.
“Once [my clients] relax,” Etirsa says, “once they’re breathing—and they’re being mindful of their breath, they’re being mindful of what their muscles are doing—everything just falls into place.”
“Sometimes that is the biggest barrier,” she adds. “To get them to really embody relaxation. Once we cross that hurdle, everything just really starts to flow.”
She’s found that her clients don’t just tense up when they’re nervous. They also tend to disassociate from their bodies. They’re in the room, but they’re not there.
Some people are walking around not being in their bodies. They’re just kind of floating around and going through the motions, but not really being present. So that is part of my mission, to help women and girls … to really focus inward, turn inward, and be present within: within themselves, within their own bodies.”
As you learn to be more present, you start to allow yourself the room to take up space. “Really own your space,” Etirsa says. “Own your breath. I keep going back to the breath, because it is so important.”
When you walk into a room and feel all eyes turn to you, it can feel uncomfortable. You look down at your phone. You glance at your notes. You search for someone to talk to. Anything to distract yourself.
But the best way to project confidence and authority is to do none of those things. It’s to take a pause.
Take a “moment to really take in the room, take in yourself, breathe, see who’s there, make eye contact with the person or people that you’re speaking with.”
Don’t feel like you have to say something right away. Allow yourself to feel comfortable in the silence, that moment before something starts to happen.
These steps alone will put you head and tails above the competition.
Put them together with some savvy styling, and you’ll have your audience eating out of the palm of your hand.
“That’s what really separates me—what I do—from some other fantastic runway coaches out there,” Etirsa says. “I identify the emotional, the physical, physiological, all of it.”
If you’d like help learning how to command a room, you can work with Etirsa one-on-one. She’s based in San Diego but also flies to where her clients are. She works with corporate clients as well as runway models. In addition to centering exercises, Etirsa offers help with styling and improv exercises to help her clients think on their feet.
“It’s a gift for me to do what I get to do with my clients,” Etirsa says. And her work is truly life-changing.
Jump to Topics of Interest
02:30 Advice for the woman who has to deliver a presentation or a pitch
03:34 What does it meant to get centered?
05:17 Signs we’re not being present
06:58 Physically relaxing helps women feel more confident
07:54 Importance of being present
08:28 How trauma impacts your relationship with your body
10:44 Does having the “wrong” body type impact confidence?
12:01 How to project confidence and authority
13:09 How to project sexiness
14:48 Body confidence as a mature woman
16:00 What it’s like to work with Etirsa
20:35 Importance of being present
About Etirsa South
Etirsa is a runway coach for models, corporate clients, and female entrepreneurs. Her mission is to help individuals develop their unique style of presenting themselves. She got her start walking the runway for Armani, Oscar De La Renta, and Roberto Cavalli. But now her role is empowering women and teens to feel confident both on and off the runway. Find out how you can work with Etirsa.