Context and premise. As a coach you are clearly in the business of empowerment. As I continue my journey working with people of all walks of life, professional and cultural backgrounds, it has become undeniably obvious that possessing good public speaking skills is now the “new must.” As far as I can tell it started to really pick up speed around 2003.
It is my conviction, that the digital age through globalization has sponsored and generated a new breed of individuals. Individuals who are searching for new creative and innovative ways to do their job more effectively and competitively. Excellent public speaking skills is at the heart of this trend. Surely, we all have noticed how much easier and cheaper it is to produce digital audio and video media. Technology is growing exponentially and we are at a point where it will never take a break.
As much as anyone can use a digital camera, not everyone can deliver a speech impeccably simply as a function of the age they live in. I will go as far as saying that new medias look so good technically that it often upstages the performances within the media itself. Hence, the urgency with which most clients seek my services over the past seven years or so. We dwell in an age where looking good is everything and packaging is key. However, you cannot fake what is “inside” the package. We can be fooled once but not twice.
I was one of those fortunate people who caught the last short decade when all the great giant acting, dance and performance teachers were still alive. I spent years studying in master classes with Uta Hagen, Herbert Berghof, Stella Adler, Lee Strasberg, and a few other master teachers well versed in ground breaking techniques (Meisner, Checkhov, Method, etc.) It changed my life forever.
One of the key elements they all shared and expressed passionately was the relationship between craft and life style. Put simply you can never be good, let alone great at something, until it becomes a way of life. There should be no difference between your “off-the-stage” life and your “on-the-stage” life. It should feel natural in both cases. All that depends on your willingness to integrate, in this case public speaking, as part of your daily or weekly repertoire of behaviors.
To most people, being in front of others is a daunting experience simply because it isn’t something they “do” regularly. As a long time recording artist and stage actor, I am always a bit apprehensive to put on my headphones or take that first step on stage; but I have long considered it my way of life. This is what I do! For instance and for the purpose of this article, a public speaker speaks in public, right?
I strongly invite you to consider this idea more carefully. It can literally alter your relationship to public speaking and communication as well. You obviously would not behave with your intimate friends the same way you would present in front of a large audience made up of potential investors; but you can develop a more natural appetite to manage your willingness to be there. Being natural has a lot to do with not making such a big deal out what is demanded of us within certain situations.
What do you think people expect of a good speaker or communicator? Please make a short list in your mind right now. If you can begin to enter a room full of people with the same abandon as entering your home, you’ll soon realize there need not be a difference. The difference is in our minds. You deal with whatever comes up in both situations and those are the only items that are distinct and handled contrastingly.
If you need coaching or know someone who could benefit from honing these skills or you wish to comment, feel free to contact me directly at (310) 205-9219 or go to my contact page: click here