The Magic of Performance

The Magic of Performance

One of our recent trainees sent us this funny and thought-provoking Ted Talk, that illustrates what you can do with your tone, your movements and your mannerisms to enhance your message. In this case, there is no message except perhaps that speakers have a wide range of communication tools that stretch way beyond the words they use.

While the video deals with a variety of techniques, for me this can all be summed up as performance.

As a coach, I find there is magic in switching from ’being you’, to ‘performing being you’. Sounds like nonsense but I see it regularly. I sometimes say ‘act being yourself, but with an extra 10%’.

And if I can persuade a speaker – be that someone appearing on camera, in a radio studio, or on stage – to see what they are doing as performing not just speaking, they so often come alive. Perhaps because I am not asking them to be authentic, I am asking them to act, it frees them up to try something different.

Of course, in the end, what you say should be authentic. But performing is an alien concept to many in business and yet for most, it is not that difficult. Often it starts with the question ‘Who would you like to sound like?’  Is a question that is urging the speaker to consciously take control of levers that they previously chose to ignore.

As with almost all our training, we video and playback these try outs and people are often stunned at the difference. I remember many years ago a banker, after a lot of work on the content of a particular speech, suddenly reluctantly forced himself to perform. When he saw the playback, he claimed to be suffering from shock ‘You have turned me into a professional presenter, I simply do not recognise that person’.

So, my challenge to you this week is don’t just give that presentation, perform it.  Your audience will thank you. And our thanks to Craig for sharing this video with us…you know who you are!

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