I heard Olivia Coleman, a rising star of the UK stage and small screen give a funny and interesting interview on BBC Radio 4 this week. I was intrigued to hear her saying that she deals with her constant stage fright by blanking the audience out of her mind completely, which is the opposite of the other advice given here. But that’s fine. Dogmatism is an unpleasant habit in a speaker or speaking coach and if it works for this great actor, why not for other people?
She went on to explain that one of her colleagues suggests a different approach, and in gorgeous, actorly style, the advice was this-
”Just imagine that audience is full of the forest nymphs of goodwill…”
A brilliant thought, simply put. And in my world of presentation skills training that means that as part of the preparation that we do, we have to imagine that 99.9% of the people we’re speaking to, love us from the moment that we walk on to the stage to speak. What’s the alternative?