A couple of years ago, I attended a prestigious conference in Copenhagen. Big names hit the stage to motivate and inspire the audience. Applause and sales abounded, and still, it was an amazing three days of enlightenment. On the eve of the event, there was a special gathering for those who had travelled from abroad and those who had purchased top tickets. A tall American woman, one of the speakers joined us, and a person I was keen to listen to. I approached and said, ‘I am looking forward to your performance tomorrow.’ She stepped back with a disgusted expression on her face and crisply said. ‘I don’t perform I present!’ Then, she walked off.
Later, of course, I thought up my response, ‘Please Put Some Heart Into Your Performance.’
– The stage is the mirror of human life – William Winter
Many of us start our speeches from the written word. We scribble and sculpt our thoughts, ideas and opinions onto some kind of writing device. During this transformation a colloquial magic happens. Life enters your vocabulary. Verve slips into your verbs. Sparkle and zing into your nouns. I call it passion, or the heart and brain walking together.
– Practise like you’ve never won. Perform like you’ve never lost – Anon.
I truly believe that if you give the best of yourself you will always perform as the real you. You will deliver the genuine article. The real thing. Every speech or talk that you rehearse before you go on stage or video is a performance. If you practise, if you edit and shape your speech before the event you are preparing for your performance. Whether you appear before one or one thousand, to inform, share knowledge or your opinion, you are performing. So, Put Some Heart Into Your Performance.
There still is some discussion about whether to present or perform. Some people prefer to present themselves on stage and resent their work associated with performance. However, if you intend to share your knowledge, experience or story you are in the process of entertaining your audience. You want to capture their attention, hold their minds and hearts and keep their eyes on you the whole time you are in front of them – right? Then, you absolutely have to Put Some Heart Into Your Performance.
-I learned that by being entertaining you make a connection with another person – Robin Williams
An audience will remember you for many factors. But one thing that will always stay in their hearts and minds is how you did it. With your words, your smile, your humour or wisdom, for sure, all of these are crucial. But your presence, energy and your personality is what creates that indelible stamp. The impression that stays is your performance.
Think about the speakers that have impressed you. I would like to share Sir Kenneth Robinson’s TEDX talk. He manages to combine all those excellent ingredients of knowledge, opinion and story. His topic is serious, at times controversial, he adds humour and wit. He is at all times entertaining his audience and performing at his best.
Here are my three tips to give you that edge so you can Put Some Heart Into Your Performance.
Believe in yourself – rehearse until you are proud and always keep your personality showing and shining.