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

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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'

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