Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Four Golden Rules for any Presenter

Thanks to the training program I started to conduct today, I was reminded about my very first drama experience at school. I was picked to play the role of a messenger and my appearance on stage was between 30 to 60 seconds on stage. I was supposed to just announce the arrival of the message, hand it over to the King and disappear from the sight. While playing this role during one of the practice sessions I earned the wrath of our legendary Mrs. Dissanayake.

I was called up, she warned me and told that unless I do it properly I will be kicked out of the drama and she gave me a lesson covering four simple rules when doing any performance.

1. Rule Number One: Never show your back to the audience - She said even when handing over the message to the King I had to create a body angle so that I am still facing the audience.

2. Rule Number Two: Make your self loud and clear

3. Rule Number Three: Make eye contact. Since I am scared to make eye contact, she asked me to look at the forehead of the person - Now that's one of the best tricks, I have ever heard. It gives an illusion to the spectator that you are making eye contact, since the forehead is slightly above the eyeliner.

4. Rule Number Four: The ping pong rule - She asked me imagine the voice to be like a ping pong ball and as if I am trying to throw it to the last person in the audience. She explained the concept of voice projection  in most simplest forms. She said, when you speak you should make sure even the last person in the audience could hear it, so if you look at the floor and talk, its like bouncing the ping pong ball on the ground since the ping pong ball will not reach them with the same force.

The following is the best possible art work that I could do to show how the ping pong rule works,

Figure 1: Voice been properly thrownFigure 2: Speaker looking down when speaking

She told these in the best possible way a 10 year old would understand. This is a lesson that I never forgot. The sweetest part was the following year we moved into the upper school and we had the auditions for the years drama,this time I applied the above 4 rules, got the main role, then played the role and won the competition. The icing on the cake was to see her as one of the main invitees seated in the first row for our final performance!

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