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May 26, 2022

Imagine being at a Broadway show, and the lead actor is playing a character who’s heartbroken by the sudden death of her only child. As she enters the stage, just for a moment, she is nonchalant, jumping into character only after she is within full view of the audience. Even if you don’t consciously see this, you still might feel that something is off.


The same is true when you, as a speaker, appear in front of a crowd. Within a few seconds of seeing you, the audience decides whether or not they have confidence in you and, accordingly, whether or not they should have confidence in the information you share with them. The fascinating thing is that, for most people, this evaluation is made at the unconscious level.


Consequently, to connect with your audience and instantly demonstrate confidence, you, like an actor, must be in character before your audience sees you. You can’t wait until you’re walking on stage to have energy. Nor can you wait until you begin talking to employ the body language that aligns with your message. If you do, you’ll run the risk of not connecting with your audience from the very first moment.


If you’d like to see a clip of Jack Nicholson getting into character before filming a scene in The Shining, click on the link in the show notes.