How to take the spotlight like a Bond girl
This week I had a selection day for the Dutch Female Young Talent Award 2018. That morning we were welcomed by the warm smile of Adella Langdon. However, make no mistake, she was a tough lady (brutally) preparing me and the other nominees to take the stage. In order to get through the selection procedure into the next round, I had to do a pitch and convince the jury I deserve to be in the national finals. As preparation, we got spotlight training in which we were thoroughly given feedback on every little thing we do. From body language to use of voice, everything was analyzed and worked on. As you can imagine, it was quite the nerve-racking day.
After the whole day sank in, I was still really impressed with our trainer and did a little research into Adella. I found out she actually was a stunt double for one of the Bond girls in the James Bond franchise! No wonder she had nerves of steel. As I really enjoyed the training and learned a lot, here are the lessons I learned from Adella.
Ground, breathe, connect
The most valuable takeaway only took three words: ground, breathe, and connect. In your essence of presence, these three actions are the foundation you build your performance on. It is easily explained as follows:
- Ground: Truly standing with two feet on the ground and realize for a split second where you are and what you’re about to do.
- Breathe: Take deep breaths to stay calm. It also prevents high breathing and getting a squeaky voice (trust me, I get this sometimes).
- Connect: Making eye-contact with your audience will help to engage them to listen to your message.
It sounds super simple, but really understanding and applying these principles might be more complex than it seems.
The presentation starts before getting on stage
The time between standing up and getting up the stage – the timeframe around the presentation is just as important as the presentation itself. That’s the moment to connect through eye contact and making your message come across by having a strong posture. Equally important is the way you end your presentation or pitch. I am not talking about the last sentence of your message, but the way you act just after that.
For me, that is where I lose people. I get awkward when I see people reacting and applauding to my performance. To cope with that I make a silly face or make myself small. I’ve learned that I need to keep the energy high by not doing any of this and to just embrace the attention for a little while longer.
Frame your message with silence
Not only is your moment in the spotlight framed by the moments before and after your presentation, it is also framed by moments of silence during your pitch or presentation. No need to rattle on. Recognize this feeling? Just remind yourself to stop talking every once in a while and you’re good to go.
Conclusion? If you’re looking for a great presentation training, do yourself a favor and call Adella. It’s tough, but definitely a big treat to your performance skills (and I know since I made it to the finals hehe). So, what is your most valuable lesson when it comes to your moment to shine? Let us know in the comments below.