Can Broadway actors help develop your public speaking skills?

Broadway Actors Public SpeakingIt’s amazing what a simple, automated activity can bring into your world.

Do you use Google Alerts to drive targeted information to your inbox? If not, you are missing a simple process that can automatically deliver to your inbox specific content that’s relevant to your business or interests. Setting up a few targeted phrases takes seconds, but can open up to your world wonderful opportunities that you would otherwise have missed. That “Alert” happened to me recently when I was introduced to a new e-book called, Broadway Actors Present The Public Speaking Guide For Everyone published by PS4e1 and under the intriguing pen name, Peitho.

Broadway Actors Present The Public Speaking Guide For Everyone is a storehouse of skills, tips and advice on the art and skill of speaking in public. PS4e1 are a Manhattan based company of professional actors who apply many of the exercises and techniques used through playing leading roles on Broadway, television and film to coach executives and business owners on presentations and how to develop your public speaking abilities.

The credo of PS4e1 is, “Expressing Yourself Matters.” This overarching value is reinforced by the wonderful reminder and affirmation that:

No two lives are alike.
You are one of a kind.
Your experience in life is unparalleled.
Nobody has lived your life but you.

Expressing yourself does matter to your audience and to you!

The book is broken up into three key sections:

  • Practising a speech

  • Managing fear

  • Giving a speech

Practising a speech

“To practice or not to practice, that is the question.”

In previous posts I have written about the critical component in public speaking of rehearsal and practice. It’s one of the most under valued aspect of presentations, yet is the one variable that is under everyone’s control. In this section of the book there are 35 short chapters which cover every aspect that is necessary to adequately rehearse and practice a presentation. With titles such as: Know Your Objective, Be Natural, Never Let Ends Of Sentences Drop and Make A Speech “Your Own” it is a comprehensive study of rehearsal.  The key takeaway from this section of the book was the singularly most important fact that before you start speaking in public you must be able to summarise the objective of your speech in one sentence.

Managing Fear

The second section opens with a wonderful quote by Mark Twain:

There are only two types of speakers in the world.
The Nervous and Liars

Most know and understand that the commonest fear that people hold is the fear of speaking in public. But to be nervous about public speaking is a good sign. It shows intelligence and awareness, since making a presentation is not a casual matter but an important and heightened occasion at which people have gathered to hear what you have to say. In 18 concise chapters, this section of the book covers not only how to understand the fear we each have, but lots of practical advice on dealing with tension, how to relax and importantly how to deal with stage fright. This is important if you want to develop your public speaking.

Giving a speech

The final section covers 60 key points on the approach and delivery of a speech. As well as good reminders about checking the venue, testing the AV equipment and projecting into a mic, the books offers helpful advice as what to wear, and the importance of choosing certain kinds of foods and drinks on the day of the speech. A very powerful technique is also explained in this section by taking that extra moment to “pause” before you begin your speech. Starting with silence creates suspense and gives your audience time to settle down. It also gives an impression of confidence.

Major learning point of the book for me.

To focus when public speaking on using “Inner Actions.” This was a new concept to me but of extreme value, and something that I will implement immediately into my public speaking. “Inner Actions” are not physical actions. “Inner Actions” are always a verb. They must always serve the objective of your speech. By understanding and experimenting with this idea, it focuses the attention away from you and your anxieties, to the audiences and their needs. This may sound like a very subtle change, however, it can radically change the emotional tone and feeling of your presentation. The learning and understanding of this single point was worth 10 times the price of the book alone.

Don’t be put off by the rather plain cover of the book. In a survey of over 600 people 79% of them said that the book cover plays a significant role in the decision to purchase a book. The contents of this e-book provide a treasure trove of tips, skills and suggestions from experts who understand how important it is to present well.

Public speaking is a performance. You are on the stage. People are looking at you, and how you perform matters. It matters to your career, it matters to the success of your business and it significantly matters to the audience as they are investing their one and only life in listening to what you have to say. Take the advice of these experts, put it into practice and it will certainly improve your ability to speak in public.

I would fully recommend this book for anyone who is interested in developing their public speaking skills.

By Peter Billingham

Disclaimer: I personally purchased this book direct from Amazon.co.uk.  The above links are affiliate links, and if you would like to purchase the book after this review using my affiliate links, I would be very grateful.


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Posted on by Peter Billingham in Public Speaking, Uncategorized

About Peter Billingham

Leader, Learner, Speechwriter, Storyteller, Author. a.k.a. 'The Artful Speaker' Enjoy working on social action projects, Toastmasters, films & adventure travel.

2 Responses to Can Broadway actors help develop your public speaking skills?

  1. Peitho

    Peter, This review of our book leaves me and my colleagues at PS4e1 (Public Speaking Training For Everyone – by Broadway Actors) BREATHLESS! How can we ever thank you enough for your most generous and heartfelt appraisal of our work and book! And, as always- superbly written by you. What an honor to be included in your most excallent blog (and, as you know, I have expressed this more than once BEFORE you wrote this stunning review). Many, many thanks!–from all of us.

    Peitho

    • Peter Billingham

      As far as I’m concerned, deservedly so! Hope that many other people get the opportunity to learn about your work and that they will take advantage and purchase the book. Thanks for your encouragement to me, it means so much!

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