Great Speakers Use Acting Skills

public speaking using acting skills

*HOW foolish are you?

How foolish are you?  How successfull do you want to be?

I have been seeing a large number of potential clients lately and if there is one salient feature amongst all of them, it is the inability to embrace foolishness.

The fear of  looking foolish has a great number of  potentially interesting speakers stuck in mediocrity, sameness, safeness – the land of boredom. 

This is how it plays -“I might be too loud, too quiet, too imposing, too animateed, too open to criticism, too wrong, too stupid….I MIGHT END UP LOOKING FOOLISH.”

(You should really refer to my previous blog – “IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU (THE GIFT AND THE FEAR) https://bmkite.wordpress.com/2009/04/29/its-not-about-you-the-gift-and-fear/–    for more information). 

But suffice it to say, this litany of negative thoughts grow stronger each time they surface particularly because  they are never addressed,  just accepted and allowed to become part of the speaker’s truth.

And the result?  The result is that we are then careful; watching ourselves to make sure that no error occurs, that no foolishness gets out, that no failure is noticed.  So we commit to safeguarding our authentic (foolish), human (error/failure ridden) self.  

We end up being serious in our manner, monotone in our voice, boring in our presentation, safe in containing our emotions. No music from the soul, no real connection, no memorable stories are given to the audience to take away with them to remember us by and to be grateful they came to hear us.

The choice is clear – bore  your audience or chance looking foolish. 

How to allow FOOLISHNESS into your life?

  • Give up on perfection.

 

  • Remember it’s not about you – it’s about the story, the gift you are giving, the audience

 

  • Stay present

 

  • Get out of your own way

 

  • Focus on the audience one at a time and make eye communication (not brief eye contact)

 

  • Trust you know what you know and don’t have to go by your written speech

 

  • Be ready to improvise, change with the needs of the audience

 

  • See the story in detail, before you say it (practice beforehand seeing, smelling, tasting, touching, hearing your story in all aspects)

 

  • Give yourself permission to fail- lose your place, make an error, feel under the gun,  BE FOOLISH.  All you need to do is focus on your important gift (the message that is going to make a difference in the audience’s life) and focus on the audience and listen to them

 

  • And most important-  address the negative thoughts you have before speaking – answer them with something truthful and positive every time they come up

 

  • BREATHE, BREATHE ,  BREATHE (before you go on, while you’re on and after)

 

  • Remember speaking is like acting – it requires AUTHENTICITY, HEIGHTENED ENERGY and GREAT STORY TELLING SKILLS

Barbara Kite is an executive speaking and professional acting coach in Portland Oregon. www.barbarakite.com

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June 3, 2009 - Posted by | acting skills, fear of speaking, presentations, Public Speaking

2 Comments »

  1. Have you read WHOEVER MAKES THE MOST MISTAKES WINS by Richard Farson? Similar premise: You have to be willing to fail, mess up, be exposed, be wrong, take a chance in order to grow, deliver, improve and succeed!

    Comment by Susan de la Vergne | June 3, 2009 | Reply

  2. No I haven’t but will definitely look him up Have you read ART AND FEAR by Bayles and Roland? Again along the same lines.

    Comment by Barbara Kite | June 3, 2009 | Reply


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