A presentation is a performance. Here are some simplified techniques used in the training of actors. Try them, even if you are convinced that you cannot act! If you are going to have to make formal presentations to large groups, you may find something helpful here.
Feeling nervous means that you are alive!
- Project by developing the sense that you are gathering your audience in, not that you are blasting out at them.
- Imagine speaking from different parts of the body. Actors are told that the best sound can come, surprisingly, from feeling that are speaking out of their ... "backside".
(And the audience will never know!!)
- Enhance clarity and poise by placing emphasis on the ending of words.
- Copy out a piece of writing that you enjoy reading aloud. Mark each word that ends with a hard consonant. Read it aloud, firming up the consonants. Note how the silence creates expectation of what is to follow.
- Make a big face - stretch the muscles, particularly those round your mouth, poke out your tongue as far as it will go.
- Make your entire body tense - hold that for count of ten and release it.
- Wring your hands as you roll your shoulders and slowly rotate your head.
Your voice - pay attention to your breathing
- Take five minutes a day to focus on your breathing. Just notice it. What does it tell you about your present state.
- Healthy breathing engages the lower parts of the trunk - across the top of the hips, expanding the lower rib cage, across the lower back.
- Inhale deeply into the back and sides for the count of six. Hold your breath for count of six. Exhale for a count of six. Pause, empty for count of six.
- A memorable voice has resonance. Place the heel of your hand on the top of your chest, above your breast bone. Breathe in deeply and yawn out an AAGH sound, keeping lots of air in the tone and feel the vibration in your hand. Now do what you can to prevent that vibration.
Getting to the point
- When preparing, hear what you are going to say before you say it. The inner voice is intimately connected to the outer voice. Imagine and listen to the sound and tone of your inner voice.
- Create and memorise a bullet point list of your greatest professional and personal strengths. Repeat it to yourself in your head and then out loud.
- Prepare a short presentation to yourself about yourself. Deliver it out loud until you are comfortable talking about yourself.
This is just the start. If you want more help with your interview technique, get in touch with us.