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Let’s get messy…

Most people focus on delivering a polished performance when it comes to public speaking and presenting. However, when we get too caught up in the technical aspects of delivery, we can limit ourselves and miss out on opportunities to connect with our audience on a deeper level. This is where can make all the difference. Let me share a story that illustrates how this kind of approach can unlock new levels of creativity and expression.

Several years ago, I was working with an actor in a play called "Escanaba in Da Moonlight" by Jeff Daniels. He had a long monologue in the last act of the show, and no matter how many times I gave him the note to "allow yourself to get messy," it just wasn't connecting. Why? Because he was right on the edge of a breakthrough with his character and delivery, but something was holding him back. It can feel uncomfortable as an actor to really let go and to feel, to connect, to take risks.

So, I decided to change my tactic. Instead of giving him the same old note, I gave him a physical activity. I told him to run around the parking lot until he got out of breath, run back into the theater, grab a chair, and begin his monologue while bench-pressing the chair above his head.

Now, you might be thinking, "What does running around and bench pressing a chair have to do with public speaking?” A lot actually, because his monologue was AMAZING! A little breathy, but it was dynamic and had energy. Why? Because this actor was no longer in his head!

The mind, body, and heart connection is essential to being present and authentic when delivering a speech or presentation. When we're too focused on our thoughts, we can become stiff and robotic. But when we allow ourselves to get messy and take risks, we tap into our creativity and expressiveness. We become more connected to our message and our audience.

So, my point is this: taking risks, getting uncomfortable, and allowing yourself to get messy may seem counterintuitive, but it's the key to unlocking the magic of public speaking and presenting. You may not need to bench press a chair, but finding ways to break out of your comfort zone can make all the difference in setting yourself apart from the rest.

Remember, the audience wants to be engaged, they want to be entertained, and they want to be inspired. So, take a risk, get a little uncomfortable, and allow yourself to get messy. You might just find that the magic is on the other side.


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