Do not act: behave.

Yesterday, I had a great answer to a question I was asked in our latest personal storytelling workshop:  when telling a story, should we not act? I knew the answer, well, my a,swer at least, but had difficulty,to explain it.

Burt Reynolds was interviewed on TV, and at the question: you love to teach now young actors, what is the most important message to them? He answered:

Do not act: behave.

If it is the answer even for actors, it is even more for those telling personal stories!

And yesterday, mr Cee, giving us advices for standup comedy, told us the same : be yourself. There are many aspects of you, take one and apply it to a part of your gig, set, then another for another part. Show true emotions, loves and hates. Be yourself, as much conversational.as possible. 


For the Speaking Public: Acting vs. Speaking

Speak & Deliver blog  post:  Acting vs. Speaking:
Have you ever watched a speaker and wondered if he knew you were even in the room?

It can be easy to go into acting mode as a speaker, especially if you've put a lot of work into your presentation. To start, you're on a stage, already separated from your audience. You know what you want to say, how you want to say it (whisper here, yell here), what gestures you want to use, and you don't want to miss a practiced beat.

I've watched many a terrifically constructed speech packed with wit, pathos, action, and a strong calls to action, fall completely flat. They were in full performance mode, but forgot we were in the room - putting up a virtual television screen that separated us from them. Had we watched the speech at home on our wide screen HD with stereo sound, we'd be closer to contentment. What we want from a speaker in person, however, is not just a message, but a connection, a conversation. 

Typical Acting VS. Effective Speaking

- Memorized lines written by others VS. memorized ideas written by the speaker
- Blocking (move stage left) as written VS. movement (step towards the audience to strengthen statement) out of natural intent and authentic emotion
- Dialogue stays on stage VS. dialogue with the audience

- Suspension of disbelief (putting your audience into the moment for the entirety of the performance)VS. temporary transport (taking your audience in and out of a scene, always landing in reality)
- Little to no eye-contact VS. intentional, specific, and continual eye contact
- Appreciation for their performance VS. appreciation for our reception of message

<~> <~> <~> 

Wonderfully explained, the differences between acting - at and not interacting with the public. All we have not to do, (and do) so we are not remote but 'with'


Mastering the pause

video on pause

1. Pause and scan the audience : get acquainted with them
2. Dramatic pause after important statement: give time to absorb
3. Pause after a dramatic question, let time to think
4. Pause instead of filler words
5. Pause may seem inconfortable, but grabs their attention, holds them


Three tiny great books

For those who do not like to read a lot, but also great for exercises and reminders,

Each gives. Something different, each is interesting.

For my library, and to show and to get inspired by them and their content.