Step One – The Public Realm is a Three-Dimensional Theatrical Space.
By Eric Stone
Context and Premise: Without intending to turn public speakers into actors or performers, the validity and power of acting skills can be demonstrated time and time again within my coaching and directing experience. When you produce yourself in front of a group or an audience, you are being faced with an interesting phenomenon called theatrical duality.
Theatrical duality is born out of the expectation an audience always carries within while waiting for the “show” to begin. It is inevitable even in the most technical presentations. Theatricality has rules, principles, etiquette and requirements, which cannot be ignored, as they are essential to successful public appearances.
No other realm challenges us like the public realm, as it cleverly demands a re-contextualization of who we are, in order to deliver on the promise of the presentation at hand. In addition, no other realm exposes “who we are and who we are not” so clearly. In my view, it counts as one of the most useful training grounds to build self-confidence, self-reliance and a host of other valuable tools essential to a healthy personal development.
The public arena is a three-dimensional space or spaciousness, which needs to be filled with life and self-expression. It is empty and meaningless without that filling. This is where the courage to act, speak and make ourselves visible is confronting yet life affirming.
Space is what there is to identify with and become aware of first. Space is what grants speakers their freedom. The content of a presentation has to be distinguished from the context or that which contains it.
Space is the true medium of speaking and acting, for that matter. Often, too much emphasis is given to verbal communication alone and the words or content of presentations. What make a presentation flat are the lack of space and the lack of quality of the space. Space is where we dwell. Of course we never confront it until we are in public and we feel or sense the lack of it. A shy individual has removed his or her natural boundary space around him- or herself.
Space is very much the room that you occupy with your energy and how comfortable you are in it. You can activate it consciously by seeing it “in the room” around you. Are you restricted to your body or are you “projecting” and “radiating” beyond it and having fun with it? The occupying and projecting of a larger circle of energy around yourself literally grants you your freedom as a communicator.
Self-expression is a function of the quality of the space we are generating, and how much room we allow ourselves to take. I always have been amazed at how small living quarters are in Europe compared to the U.S. I’ve sat at dinner parties in tiny yet elegant flats in London and Paris with a dozen people, and felt like it was incredibly spacious. The experience of lack of space starts with the speaker or communicator. Space is first contemplated, then “held” or “contained” by a speaker or actor.
The quality of the atmosphere around you is a relationship that must be cultivated. Body language and voice power cannot be appreciated without space. Make the space around you bigger when you communicate. Take more space! I promise you’ll be astounded by how much more relaxed and confident you’ll become as a result.
If you need coaching or know someone who could benefit from honing these skills or if you wish to comment, feel free to contact me on my cell at (818) 486-3395 or go to my contact page by clicking Here!
Wishing you continued success,
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Speeches, Presentations & Media Appearances.”
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