Great Speakers Use Acting Skills

public speaking using acting skills

*THE INTRO to your speech

Be smart and write your introduction because your speech/presentation starts when the person introducing you reads what you have written.  So do you  list your accomplishments and abilities and wonderfullness?   Why not?  everyone does!

My one hue and cry will continue.  IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU. 

What can your audience expect to receive from you?  What is the gift you are giving  that will make a difference to them – in their lives,  in their work?   Focus on that in your introduction and make sure the person who is doing your intro gets your written speech ahead of  time.

I did this recently.  I handed my introduction to a women who was going to introduce me and she read exactly what I wrote, in monotone, without pausing,  hurriedly and it made no sense.  I was distraught.  What to do next?  Teach people how to speak is what I do.  But I couldn’t prevent her from butchering a simple introduction.  Her head was somewhere else.  She didn’t care.  She made a bad impression.  And she didn’t help me either.

I’ve decided to put in pauses (directions) and then ask them to read it over before we go on to make sure they understand my introduction.  Presumptuous?  Maybe. But how else do I take care of my audience?  How do I make sure they get the most from me in exchange for their valuable time?

Another time a friend of mine was to introduce a speaker.  My friend herself is an amazing speaker but she decided to really help this person and sing the introduction.  The speaker was steaming afterwards and said  that she wanted to be introduced the way it was written without any creative additions.

How good are you at introducing people.  Most I find are greatly lacking in this skill.  They end up looking sloppy, disinterested, unprofessional.  Don’t make that mistake when you introduce a speaker.

And when you write an introduction for  yourself  – what does it say about your desire to be of service to the audience? 

Here is the introduction I wrote for  the Public Relations Society of America Conference regarding Acting Skills and Public Speaking

I’M ASSUMING YOU’RE HERE TODAY BECAUSE THE SUBJECT MATTER “GREAT SPEAKERS AND ACTING SKILLS” INTRIGUES YOU. YOU MAY EVEN BELIEVE YOU WILL FIND NEW WAYS TO BECOME BETTER THAN YOU ARE.  YOU’RE RIGHT.

TODAY YOU WILL LEARN ABOUT NEW SKILLS YOU NEED TO BE AN EXCITING SPEAKER … AND HOW TO GET THEM.

BARBARA KITE, WITH OVER THREE DECADES OF COACHING, SPEAKING AND ACTING EXPERIENCE, IS HERE TODAY TO SHARE THE BEST KEPT SERCRET OF MEMORABLE SPEAKERS- ACTING SKILLS .

AND HOW TO USE THE SKILLS PROFESSIONAL ACTORS HAVE, GIVING YOU THAT MAJOR EDGE YOU WANT IN YOUR PRESENTATIONS.

PLEASE GIVE A WARM WELCOME TO BARBARA KITE.

Short, to the point and addressing the needs of the audience.

What does your introduction say about you?

Barbara Kite is an executive speaking and professiional acting coach, director and actress in Portland Oregon. www.barbarakite.com

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June 25, 2009 - Posted by | acting skills, fear of speaking, presentations, Public Speaking

7 Comments »

  1. Thanks for the tips, Barbara- I’ve run into both issues you address here: having received a sloppy introduction by a well-meaning but il-prepared introducer; and writing a blasé introduction without directions. As I begin looking for speaking opportunities, I am trying to really hone the skills I already have and learn some new tricks of the trade… such as story telling.

    I am a naturally animated speaker and consistently receive compliments on my presentations. However, I struggle to find poignant stories to make my point. My tendency to get long-winded in my stories has kept me from telling them. Do you have any tips or examples for how and when (in the speech) you incorporate story-telling?

    Comment by DL | June 26, 2009 | Reply

  2. Same thinig happened to me. A person introducing me gave a very cold into off what was written.

    I guess it is more common than what we would like to see.

    Comment by JAMES CARLINI | June 26, 2009 | Reply

  3. […] about crafting THE INTRO to your […]

    Pingback by THE INTRO to your speech — by Barbara Kite « 40plusdc blog | June 30, 2009 | Reply

  4. You are right on target with this Barbara … the introduction is part of the presentation. If the “reader” gets it wrong, you have to “restart” when you hit the platform, not only getting things going in the right direction, but overcoming whatever damage was done.

    I’ve had some introducers ad lib, no matter how many times I asked them to read exactly what was on the paper, no matter that they rehearsed the reading with my coaching…ugh!

    And other introducers who tell the audience, “Dale gave me this introduction to read, but I just want to put that aside and … ”

    And don’t you just hate it when the introducer gives a little speech of their own … All BAD!

    I’m considering using a professional voice over on my the video we play while the introduction is being read … http://snurl.com/run-run … It’s about a minute long, and I’m looking for a way to customize the wording for my specific audience, just the way I prepare the written introductions now. Ideas are welcomed?

    Keep up the good work Barbara!

    Dale Collie
    Author & Speaker
    Courage Builders International

    Comment by Dale Collie | July 4, 2009 | Reply

    • Thanks for your reply to my blog.

      As for your voice over and the introduction at the same time – I wouldn’t do it. You have an audience listening to music, the voice over and the introduction, while watching the video. It’s just too much. If you have the voice over as your introduction that will seem detached from the human – you coming on stage and it would be a bit disjointed. If you have someone reading your introduction with this video playing in the background, you better have a professional voiceover person doing that or it will sound unprofessional, and be off putting.

      Sorry I couldn’t be of more help. Good Luck.

      Comment by Barbara Kite | July 4, 2009 | Reply

      • Thanks for the feedback on this Barbara!

        Comment by dale collie | July 5, 2009


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