"All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players."
It's one of Shakespeare's most well-known lines, taken from the play As You Like It. While many may or may not have seen the play itself, the words have taken on a life of their own owing to the core truth buried in them: In our everyday lives, we take on roles and put on performances for our peers while trying to make ourselves understood.
Nowhere is this a more apt metaphor than when giving a presentation. You may not be an "actor," but many of the techniques that actors use to convey emotion and captivate audiences can be used to make executive and technical presentations more compelling. Here are few proven acting techniques that can enhance your next presentation:
We coach clients to use a variety of facial expressions during talks to convey meaning and persuade. (Sport a poker face and you force audiences to work harder to grasp your meaning.) Expressing appropriate emotion during presentations can help move a conversation forward. But what happens when your strong emotion during a presentation hinders message delivery and distracts the audience (it might be while delivering sad news or happy news, or experiencing frustration or anger)? How can you stay on message, convey the information you must, and stay composed? The following tips will help you be effective in this unique talk scenario.