Working for years in the theatre, you pick up a few things. Not only props and costumes but information, observations and growth hacks that are easily translatable to other venues. It’s amazing how much of what I learned as an actor and director is compellingly applicable to entrepreneurship and running a business. Here are a set of five communication growth hacks actors know, that you don’t:
1. When speaking or presenting, rehearse, rehearse, and rehearse. Then, rehearse some more. When speaking to a group of two or one thousand, know your material!
2. Once you know your material as well as you know your own name, (see #1 above), forget trying to think about the actual words. We call this “organic,” meaning that the words come from the energy of the moment. Once the words are so ingrained, you don’t have to stress about finding them and speaking becomes more natural – like a conversation as opposed to a recital. This allows you to be a better, more natural and engaged speaker.
3. Every meeting is an audition.
4. Every audition is a chance for success or failure but sometimes it has absolutely nothing to do with you. You may be brilliant. You're probably exactly what they need, and yet, they didn’t pick you. You may never know the actual reason why they didn’t pick you. It’s out of your control, so control what you can - be your best, most amazing self, and let the rest go.
5. When you’re not speaking, you are still communicating (this cannot be stressed enough). My dog doesn’t actually “speak” to me (well, nothing I can repeat here…) but she sure can communicate what she wants (“a biscuit please” or “love me, love me, love me”) and needs (“outside, NOW!”). In human communication the words very often are secondary to non-verbal cues. Actors know that humans speak more, and loudest when not actually talking.
LB Adams is the Founder of Practical Dramatics headquartered in Charleston, SC. Her company produces training events utilizing theatre strategies to help humans grow more profitable conversations with other humans.