his article is by Kathryn Marie Bild, an acting and public speaking coach and author of Speak Up! Speak Out! Acting Techniques That Make Public Speaking Fun and Fearless!
I have made a discovery. I have discovered that the acting techniques I have been employing for more than 20 years to help my acting students master and deliver beautifully-honed, well-controlled theatrical speeches can also be used to help executives and other presenters master and deliver any kind of speech.
I find this exciting. It means that you, as a speaker, have at your disposal a whole tool kit of techniques to help you develop the skill—and the confidence that comes with it—to more effectively and fearlessly express your ideas.
Here are a few acting techniques that can be of particular value to the business executive:
1. Know all the characters before you ever step onto the stage. In a play or film, each actor knows every character. His character doesn’t necessarily know all the other characters, but the actor playing that character does. He has studied the play. He knows who he is dealing with and what to expect from them.
This can be a useful idea for you as speaker. Granted, not as many variables are invariable for the speaker as for the actor. For one thing, he isn’t assured a certain ending. But there is much he can do to achieve his desired outcome by getting to know the other players before he steps onto the stage. Who are they—your audience and those who hired you? Why did they ask you to speak? What do they hope to get out of your presentation? What do they hope to do with it?
Knowing the answers to these questions enables you to predict what you can reasonably expect in the way of reaction. And it can be done with a little research. Interview some of them while you are still crafting your presentation, Google them. Why face and operate in the dark when with just a small effort you can flick on the light
2. Dress for the part. When they dress for the part, proponents say, it helps actors give themselves “permission to play.” Then, in that freed state, they begin to do the deeper work of acting.