Presentation skills training – a brilliant actor’s great bit of advice to the nervous presenter

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?

Jim Harvey

Jim Harvey

Managing Director at The Message Business
Jim is the MD of The Message Business, a company which helps FTSE 100 companies to sell themselves, and their products better. Speech writer, Prezi trainer and designer, coach and consultant, Jim also finds time to be a proud father and husband.
Jim Harvey
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