Strengthen Your Stage Presence

 

Lesson Info

Get Vocally Ready to Present

All these warm ups are really something that you have to do to take care of yourself, so, if you need to go somewhere, like, a public restroom, or we, thank you for the Creative Live team giving us a greenroom where we've been able to do this on our own as well. Just take that time, find that place. This isn't something that you have to do as a performance in front of people. This is about you getting ready. [Female Instructor] And feeling, really feeling ready. - [Male Instructor] Yeah. Really feeling ready for yourself. So, in getting vocally ready to present, there's all kinds of different ways you can do that. The funny thing is, is most the ways people present, communicate, speak, whatever you wanna call it, it's verbal mostly. You can be physical, you should be, but mostly it's you speaking. You know, you're in a meeting and your voice is a part of it, or you're on a phone call, or you're on a video conference, either way, you're speaking, or at least that's gonna happen a ...

lot of times. But, very infrequently do people actually think about if they're warmed up and ready to speak. We just start speaking, and the way that actors and performers get ready, is they do a series of exercises in order to warm up their facial muscles, warm up their lips, their tongue, their diction, all these different ways that we have to articulate and speak and be heard. And while it may not be something that's part of your routine, and for you at home as well, it doesn't take very long, and so we're gonna go through some of those. And actually this is one of our first downloads, so on our course page, you're gonna be able to download some of these tongue twisters that we're about to do. But, the first thing we're gonna do is an exercise called Lion/Mouse. And so Lion/Mouse is an exercise where I'd love for all of you just to stand up where you're seated now. And we're basically gonna pretend to be lions and mice by making with the lion a very (laughs) big facial expression. Really this is just about like, expanding and contracting, you're already doing it. Great. I'm gonna go take a coffee break. You're just expanding your face like a lion like this, putting your arms out and going ahh! - [Female Instructor] Ahh! Sticking your tongue out. Here's the thing, no one is looking at anyone and no one cares. We are all gonna look a little silly so therefore, no one looks silly. And that goes for whoever is watching at home as well. So, you're going to stretch your face as wide, your eyes as big, your mouth as open, your tongue as long as you can possibly make it, and kinda make that ahh, it's kinda warming up your vocal cords a little bit, too. And then we're gonna contract into the mouse and do the opposite. Make everything small, make your eyes small, make your facial muscles contract, make your mouth very small, and make a really small sound mememememe. So it's ahh, mememememe, ahh, over and over, kind of this accordion effect. And it's really, even though it's silly, it's really effective at kinda warming up your facial muscles because what you wanna feel like when you go into a room to present is you almost wanna feel in your face, as if you've been laughing for a long time, like, you know how good that feels, like your face is "hurting," we always say it hurts, it doesn't hurt. It feels great. And that's what we want, we want no tension in our jaw, and we want a little bit of a lift in our smile, and it just feels nice. And this is a way to get there really quickly. And so let's do it together, just follow me. Lion, ahh! - [Class] Ahh! Mememememe. - [Class] Mememememe. Lion, ahh! - [Class] Ahh! Mouse, mememememe. - [Class] Mememememe. One more time. Lion, ahh! - [Class] Ahh! And mouse, mememememe. Mememememe. Great, now just kinda move your face around and just kinda chew. Just feel, there's parts of our faces that we use when we speak, when we laugh, when we're maybe just kind of actively listening, that we just have to wake up. It's like waking up your computer, right, it has to, all these things have to happen in order for you to be able to function on your computer, obviously, the same thing with us, our brains have to wake up and so, our faces, our bodies have to warm up as well. So, now that we've kinda warmed up our facial muscles, stretched our tongues and our lips a little bit so we can kinda move, let's articulate. So, these are simple. Actors and people have been doing these forever and ever, but, there's a couple that we're gonna do. There's a bunch of them and that's the download, is a list of different tongue twisters, but the first one we're gonna do is just these simple words, red leather and yellow leather, and we're just gonna say red leather, yellow leather over and over for five or six times, just to kinda warm up and say something that's kinda, a little clunky to say in terms of your articulation. So, let's go. Red leather, yellow leather. Red leather, yellow leather. Red leather, yellow leather. Red leather, yellow leather. Red leather, yellow leather. Red leather, yellow leather. Red leather, yellow leather. Red leather, yellow leather. Stop. Perfect. A little silly, but as we keep saying, it's better to feel that way when you're prepping than when you're actually presenting. So, whatever you have to do to get ready. And maybe you need more of one aspect of the warm up, maybe you need to warm up your brain a little bit more in terms of the mental faculties and your fine physically or vocally. Or maybe it's one of those that you need to warm up more. We're not saying do all these and everyone needs them the same amount, we're just saying try something. You have to hit on all of these elements of your stage presence. See now we're gonna do another tongue twister and it's a little longer and a little more difficult to say so, I'll just say it once and you can follow along. You're gonna first say you know New York. So say that with me. You know New York. - [Class] You know New York. You need New York. You need New York. You know you need unique New York. You know you need unique New York. Great, now let's say it all together, one time just to make sure we have it. You know New York. - [Class] You know New York. You need New York. - [Class] You need New York. You know you need unique New York. You know you need unique New York. Great. So now, we're gonna say that three times. We're gonna do different things with this particular sentence, this tongue twister. So, let's just say it three times, kinda just like a normal rate. And this is an okay opportunity to get it wrong. - [Instructor] Yeah. Right, so we're not trying to be so careful in all these that we get it right, we're warming ourselves up so it's okay to say things incorrectly. - [Male Instructor] Yeah. And I did mess it up just now and I didn't call it out because that's the point, just what she said. It's about kinda finding the blind spots in your preparation. Are you warmed up physically? Are you warmed up verbally? Is there a particular consonant combination that you just really have to practice a little bit more? I don't wanna say think about more, just practice it more and kinda make it more muscle memory and second nature. So, let's do that sentence three times. You know New York. - [Class] You now New York. You need New York. - [Class] You need New York. You know you need unique New York. You know you need unique New York. You know New York. - [Class] You know New York. You need New York. - [Class] You need New York. You know you need unique New York. You know you need unique New York. You know New York. - [Class] You know New York. You need New York. - [Class] You need New York. You know you need unique New York. You know you need unique New York. Great. We're getting that rhythm down. John had a great head-bobbing thing. (John laughs) Look like you were about to go into a rap battle. But this is great, so, now we're gonna play with the same phrase, and we're gonna do it really quickly. We're gonna do it as fast as we possibly can. And this is a great thing to do with any particular phrase or sentence, and a presentation you're gonna give where you really do have a little bit of anxiety around it. A lot of people give business presentations around product names and new systems and all the things that everybody's job and company makes and sells. And sometimes those names are very new to you because it's a new product or it's a new service. Or sometimes they're maybe not very new, but they just are not very natural to say because they're a combination of letters and numbers or some portmanteau of words that don't go together because that's the only way they can come up with a new product name and get it trademarked, and all that stuff that businesses have to do. It makes for really clunky language. So, this time we're gonna go as fast as we can three times and just see where we get tripped up. You know New York. - [Class] You know New York. You need New York. - [Class] You need New York. You know you need unique New York. You know you need unique New York. You know New York. - [Class] You know New York. You need New York. - [Class] You need New York. You know you need unique New York. You know you need unique New York. You know New York. - [Class] You know New York. You need New York. - [Class] You need New York. You know you need unique New York. You know you need unique New York. Jim. You know ne... [Female Instructor] Ohh! (class laughs) All right, woo hoo! Very good, very good. Great, so we did it fast three times. Now, let it three times as fast, or sorry, as exaggerated as we possibly can. We're gonna overexaggerate, over articulate. Just so we know, okay, when I did it really quickly, here's where I tripped up, now I'm gonna exaggerate it. Here's where I can kinda focus there a little bit more, and be a little more present with that syllable or those letters or whatever it may be. So let's do that three times. You know New York. - [Class] You know New York. You need New York. - [Class] You need New York. You know you need unique New York. You know you need unique New York. You know New York. You know New York. You need New York. You need New York. You know you need unique New York. You know you need unique New York. You know New York. - [Class] You know New York. You need New York. - [Class] You need New York. You know you need unique New York. You know you need unique New York. Fabulous. I would love one volunteer to come here, everyone take a seat but one person. Who would like to come up? - I volunteer. Yay Jared! - [Male Instructor] All right, Jared. Give him a round of applause. And while this may not be something you ever tell an audience outside of the context of this class, we're just gonna use this tongue twister as a way for you to get, as we've been saying, more reps in front of an audience and just plant your feet. Deliver this how you would try to say this sentence conversationally. Okay. And just, yeah, just use the tongue twister as just reps in front of a crowd. Go ahead. You know New York. You need New York. You know you need unique New York. Very good. Give him a round of applause. (class applauds) The future Mayor of New York. Wow, does kinda look like a politician, but like a Silicon Valley politician with the hoodie on, so perfect, perfect for where we are. So, great so we're gonna move on. But, just now that, like, even though you may speak all the time, just get ready to speak. There's different ways to do that. [Female Instructor] So, as Sammy mentioned, we do have a download with this so you can download it at home. These tongue twisters, there's a whole list of them and different ways that you can try. This is also great for, we all have accents and regionalisms, depending on where we're from. So there are certain ones that I may need to work on that Sammy doesn't need to work on. This is also a great practice for any of us that are speak more than one language, so if you're bi-lingual or tri-lingual, it can be great for us to really practice warming our mouths up because when we speak in one language and then switch to another one, sometimes there are parts of our mouth, or tongue or teeth, and our faces that we use when we speak different languages.

Unless you’re an actor, comedian, musician or juggler, you probably don’t see yourself as a “performer.” But the truth is, if you ever have to stand up in a conference room and give a PowerPoint presentation or make a speech in front of your team, you are performing.

By embracing the performance aspect of public speaking and presenting, you can utilize the same tools that performers use to prepare themselves mentally, physically and vocally before they take the stage. And the more prepared you are, the more successful your speeches and presentations will be.

This course will give you tried and true preparation methods to ensure you’re ready for your big moment, whether you’re talking to a small group or presenting to a big crowd. You’ll learn hands-on exercises that will help transform you from a wary, reluctant speaker to a confident, dynamic performer.

In this class, you’ll learn how to:

  • Bring the best version of yourself to every room.
  • Think like an improviser so you feel more grounded, adaptable and positive.
  • Know the who, what and why of your presentation and audience.
  • Conquer your stage fright.
  • Handle mistakes, mishaps and technical glitches with grace.
  • Alleviate stuttering, stammering, speaking too quickly, being monotone, poor pacing and shifting weight.
  • Use physical, vocal and mental warm-up exercises to feel centered, alert and prepared.
  • Take creative risks.

 
 
 
 

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