It’s no secret that one of the most in-demand life skills is the ability to be an effective and compelling communicator. Someone who can get across their ideas, speak authentically, and master the 90% of communication that is non-verbal.
Conversely, it is frustrating when we feel we aren’t being heard, or can’t present our ideas in a clear and engaging way.
A simple google search will show a myriad of courses and training programs which focus on presentation skills. On how to make better powerpoint slides, or how to plan and prepare for our next work meeting, event, or conference.
But people and businesses are increasingly turning to a more immersive and impactful way to improve communication skills and build presence and confidence – Acting classes.
Where once people saw acting classes as the domain of….well actors, there is growing evidence and appreciation that the techniques taught to actors can be an incredibly powerful way for anyone to build the skills they need to be a confident and compelling communicator.
Improvisation is a key component of any acting course. Improv helps us to build our active listening skills as we focus on the cues, lines and dialogue in order to fully understand the scenario and communicate in sync with others. We can experiment with pitch, projection, cadence, volume and energy to see what combination makes our communication most effective. It is also creative and fun, enabling people to relax and enjoy the active learning approach.
Flexibility and problem solving is enhanced as we build skills to listen, process, think on our feet and respond. To experiment and adapt to circumstances. Acting helps us to both focus and memorise but also to interpret and adapt to uncertainty in our surroundings and the actions of others.
Acting builds confidence. As we venture outside our natural comfort zones we are able to challenge our existing thought patterns and behaviours. People often rate public speaking as one of their greatest fears. Through voice, movement and greater emotional connection we can build the tools necessary to be more confidence in our own unique and authentic style of storytelling.
Acting by its nature is a team sport – even a solo show will require a production crew. Acting classes enable us to hone our skills in a supportive, non-judgemental environment where collaboration and shared vulnerabilities brings people together. It builds empathy and understanding for different perspectives and interpretations.
Acting classes help us realise that the most engaging communicators are not necessarily the ones with the loudest voice, but those who actively listen and combine words, actions, voice variation and emotion to connect with their audience.
So how can people move forward when many would shudder at the thought of enrolling in an acting course? Here are some ideas to help you get on the “stage”:
- Shortlist afew well regarded acting studios that offer short courses.
- Meet the acting teachers and gain confidence in their interest and ability to work with non-actors.
- Clarify class composition and size to ensure you will be in a comfortable, fun and supportive environment.
- Make your next trip a learning holiday and find an acting school away from your family and friends! Come back as an academy award winner, or at least a more authentic communicator.
In the words of American poet Maya Angalou “people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”.
Creative Cities 21 re-energises people through 5-day creative escapes in great cities of the world. By combining the benefits of painting, acting, innovation & travel, we ignite your creativity, helping you realise your personal and professional potential. Find out more about our 2019 programs at www.creativecities21.com
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