You may have come across the term “main character energy.”  Most recently I heard Charlamagne tha God suggest that President Joe Biden needed more main character energy to win a second term. The phrase describes the confidence, charisma, and self-assuredness that is often associated with the main character in a story or movie.

Supporting cast, chorus, Corps de Ballet, or member of the ensemble are all important and essential, and yet they are roles that do not require you to be front and center with all eyes on you while you carry the performance’s momentum.

As a speech coach, I am often asked by clients how to best stand out and be assured that their message is heard and embraced.  Is it with gestures, stance, or vocal quality?  Is it knowing your audience and speaking directly to what they want and need?  It is of course, all those things, and the cherry on the top is delivering with MAIN CHARACTER ENERGY.

From Gaga to Gosling, we many examples of those who take the stage in control of their own narrative and embrace their uniqueness in a way that hooks us.

So, how to you do it? Greenlight ( shares few guiding principles:

  • Believe in yourself and your capabilities. Know that you are the main character of your story and have the power to shape your own destiny.
  • Embrace your unique qualities and quirks. These are what make you stand out and add depth to your character.
  • Take risks and step out of your comfort zone. Main characters often face challenges and obstacles, but they also take action to overcome them.
  • Surround yourself with supportive and positive people. Main characters often have a group of friends or allies who believe in them and help them along their journey.
  • Set goals and work toward achieving them. This shows determination and purpose, key traits of main characters.
  • Be unapologetically yourself. Main characters might not spend a lot of time trying to fit into a mold or be someone they’re not. Embrace your authenticity and let your true self shine.

I have also found it helpful to channel performers and performances that energize me like:

  • Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen in the Hunger Games
  • Reese Witherspoon as Elle Woods in Legally Blonde
  • Meryl Streep in anything…
  • Jean Smart as Deborah Vance in Hacks
  • Katherine Hepburn as Tracy Lord in the Philadelphia Story
  • Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman

It’s not that I am attempting to imitate these performers as much as it is about extracting some of their main character juju. If I am feeling the need for a little boost of bravado, I’ll watch a clip online – soak it up – and go forth!

Main character energy – when used for good – is about believing in yourself and remembering your role to lead the conversation, inspire an audience, or rally community around a cause.