YOU CANNOT AFFORD TO WORK WITHOUT A PUBLIC PERSONA!
Audiences are people too! If fear of public speaking is for the most part experienced as "real" on one side of the footlights, it is also real on the other. We rarely think of audiences being afraid when it's our turn to give that speech. An audience is always actively passive, and bravely experiences whatever is taking place. It literally goes through our experience and may not be aware of it. An audience loves to be passive. When I watch a good movie in the dark, I feel safe and comfortable being passive, and, at the same time, I have access to the full range of my emotions. Speakers, actors and communicators ought to be more aware of the good news that it represents. An audience is like a sponge, and you, are the "stuff" being absorbed physically, emotionally and intellectually.
Create a persona so audiences can identify with you, trust you and relax in your presence. The persona you create does not have to be different from who you are, but perhaps contain the best of your qualities. To explore yourself in public is a wonderful opportunity to grow past limiting self beliefs. Most people are embarrassed by who they are personally when they are in public. It does not go over very well. Greek tragedies performers all wore masks or personalities so the folks could not only identify with them, but create their own personal mythology through it. You cannot afford to work without a metaphorical mask. When giving a speech or presentation, you are being viewed through an interpretive mechanism that cannot be helped. You are viewed through the eye or optical viewpoint of the theatrical experience. You personal, social or private self cannot be identified readily when you are in the limelight. Who we are personally disappears in the public atmosphere, and needs to be replaced by a solid "persona."
Being in public is heightened living. The more important the outcome of our communications, the more heightened our presence must be! You could also argue very powerfully that very often who we are is a collection of repeated behavior over time. It's a pattern and, I might add, often not a very interesting pattern. No offence. Content shines through the vessel or channel that the speaker allows. If your sense of yourself is heightened, it shall be noticed as such. A good speaker is a good actor, distinguished from that unique perspective. Arm yourself with a good mask. Pretend you are braver than you are, stand taller, display that confidence you've always seen yourself display, go the extra mile. It's a game you can't afford not to play. It's more fun too!
A persona has an identity made up of qualities such as warm, open, clear, knowledgeable, personable, confident, genuine, sophisticated, etc...This relates to the human being interacting with the audience. You serve and honor an audience by creating a 3D persona. Public speaking is a borrowed convention. We did not invent a new game! The content is different than theater and granted, rarely dramatic, but nevertheless, to my audience I AM THE ACTOR.
Eric Stone is the founder, CEO-President of Speakers & Artists International, Inc., a California corporation delivering advanced courses and training programs in the arenas of public speaking, communication, empowerment and self-expression.
He's also the founder of Hollywood Actors Studio, in Beverly Hills, CA http://www.actingconnection.com where he has been developing talent and training professional actors for the film industry, directing and lecturing for the past eighteen years. Eric Stone is also a Producer, a Creative Director, and a Professional Stage, Film, Television, and Voice Actor with major national and international credits to his name. Eric is a Published Author and Internationally acclaimed award-winning artist http://www.philippebenichou.com represented in six countries around the world.
Eric is always looking for opportunities to share his passion for self-expression and growth & development. He is currently a national speaker for Vistage International, the largest CEO membership organization in the world. Current clients include Kaiser Permanente, the Tiger Woods Foundation, LA Clippers, the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, and Walt Disney Pictures.
Methodology: In this method you learn by personal discovery and experiential wisdom using a large palette of processes, techniques and distinctions to promote self awareness. The aim being to outgrow limiting self concepts. Seldom do we recognize context as the source of our experiences. Yet all the experiences of a fish are conditioned by water and its properties. This method deals with context or medium in which the contents of our lives or work occur. Medium is used here to mean the ideological environment from which we think and act (water to fish, air to bird and man to himself.) By revealing the context in which we operate, we can reorganize limiting beliefs, thoughts and actions into a new freedom to act and a self-generated personal power.