What should you do if the stage is noisy?
Alison asks, ‘What should you do if the stage is noisy?’
At first glance, I thought Alison’s question was about noise in the building, but then she added, ‘other than take your shoes off and stay still’. So the question is literal – what should you do if the stage creaks when you walk on it!
I’m not a fan of speakers who pace around. Why should the audience have to twist and turn to follow you?
Like a mountain
You can create movement by standing in a yoga pose known as ‘them mountain’. To stand in the mountain post stand symmetrically with your feet hip-width apart. Stand straight and tall with your weight distributed evenly. Push your shoulders back and down and carry your head high.
Notice that although you are standing still you can still create a sense of movement and energy around you. Start by bouncing on the balls of your feet. Notice that as well as bouncing up and down you can create additional movement with your hips that greatly extends the space that you have around you for movements of your arms and hand gestures.
You can also create a sense of movement using your gaze. Practise making slow sweeping glances (not stares) around the room when you speak. Don’t give eye contact to one personin particular, but try to look at everyone, whether they are looking at you or not. This creates a feeling of communion and sense of inclusion with the people in your audience.
You can also ‘lean in’ by bending forward at the waist slightly while using open palm hand gestures to generate energy and movement. The next time you speak, make a conscious effort to stay put but create as much movement and energy as you can. You may be surprised by just how powerfully your presence is transformed.
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