Great Speakers Use Acting Skills

public speaking using acting skills

*FEAR revisited – fainting at Bergdorf’s

Want to challenge yourself?  Realize that your can  turn fear into excitment? Face your fears and realize they’re not that fearful? Feel a sense of control?

Here’s an assignment I give to some of my actors.

Choose a large department store (preferrably Bergdorf’s) and faint in the men’s or women’s clothing department (the opposite of your sex). 

It’s easy – you just slowly fold your body down to  the ground. 

The purpose – because you’re afraid to.  To put yourself out there.  You live in a box and you don’t really know it (none of us know the parameters of it). 

Because you need to feel vulnerable.

Because you need to feel in control.

Do something silly and connect back to the child, the adventurer that still lives in you.  (Don’t you want to bring that energy to your speaking?)

Do something that is outside your comfort zone. 

How strict are you?  

How many silly rules to you adhere to?  I wouldn’t think of fainting anywhere because “that’s just not done.  It’s irresponsible.  People would think I’m crazy if they found out. There are rules we have to follow.”

Are all of them necessary?  Do they encourage us to be even more strict with ourselves, more boxed, hold on more tightly (to what?)? 

How important is your fear, (do you know that the opposite of fear is excitement?)? 

It’s just a way to get you to think and start asking questions about your freedom as a human being, as an artist, as a speaking artist.

Oh and don’t worry about getting “caught” by the police or firefighters or management and wasting their precious time.  As soon as someone approaches you, start to get to your feet and mention something about “never going without breakfast again”.  Of course it helps if you do this late in the afternoon.  AND of course  you have to be aware of what is going on around you while pretending to faint.  You have to be very present as a actor and as a speaker.

I remember doing it and feeling in control of my life.

 Let me know how it goes.

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May 4, 2009 - Posted by | acting skills, fear of speaking, Public Speaking

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