Almost two years ago we posted “5 Communication Growth Hacks Actors Know That You Don’t.” The response we received to this article was extraordinary and because of that, we now make it a part of our consulting packing.
Glorious, yes, but given that it was two long years ago, we thought it was time for some updates and additions. To that end, we present 5 MORE Communication Growth Hacks…
1. When public speaking, particularly for the first time in a venue, please, please get there early to suss out the space. Few things are more important than getting the lay of the land - where are you in relation to the audience? Where is the sound coming from? Will they have a podium or a table for to put your notes on? Who has snacks? And so on. Actors inhabit their space. Claim and inhabit yours.
2. Stop talking and listen. We’ve said this 52.6 million times and we’ll continue to say it - time spent listening is time very well spent. DO NOT act like you’re listening when you’re actually mentally compiling your next witty interjection. Sit back, look at the person and hear the words; hear the way they’re saying the words. Listen to their energy when they’re speaking.
3. Use “Yes, and…” A negative interjection often derails a conversation or sends it in a completely different direction. By using this ground-floor basic of improv artistry, you can encourage greater dialogue, even if you don’t happen to agree with what’s being said.
4. Listen to what they’re not saying. Humans communicate huge amounts of information without saying a word. It’s these non-verbals that very often clue us into the person with whom we’re speaking. Believe what they do, not necessarily what they say.
5. Lift your head and speak. Seems like a no brainer. It’s not. Stop looking at the ground and mumbling. Actor’s know that regardless of an amplification system, the voice is an instrument. Use it well by breathing, lifting your chin, using proper diction and making eye contact.
Of course, actors know many, many more communication growth hacks, but you’re just not ready for them.
In good time grasshopper. In good time.
LB Adams is the Founder of Practical Dramatics, and headquartered in Charleston, SC. Her company is happy to answer any questions you might have about actors, communication training, team building and really weird eye contact, To learn more about growing profitable conversations, reach out to us at 843-771-0753.