Jeff Skinner will be one of CAPS Manitoba’s guest speakers on January 18th on the topic of Your Voice – Keeping Your Presentation Honest and Interesting: Simple techniques to keep your audience engaged and to keep you in the moment.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Jeff as part of our new pre-event “Get to Know our Presenters” series for 2014. Here’s what I learned about Jeff…
Why do you think it’s important to keep presentations honest and interesting?
First of all, your presentation becomes relatable, for if it’s not honest, no one will be able to relate to it.
It’s the basic premise of all performances. As actors, they are always striving to be interesting and to be truthful. This technique allows for both vulnerability and for the listeners to access “you”.
People need to specifically get inside your head so that they can relate to you. You can allow them to do that by sharing yourself more fully in public. This does not mean breaking down and crying; just breaking down the walls that divide you from them.
What was your scariest presentation or moment in your career on-stage?
Jeff shared that he has had a few. Two moments in high school that drove him to ensure he overcame his on-stage anxiety were…
- Jeff was the lead of his high school musical. And back in the day when CBC had a noon hour lunch program, he sat down with a CBC interviewer beforehand and he was elaborating of his role and the play. Everything 1-on-1 was going smashingly, however when he went on-air, Jeff froze and he went to one-word answers with no elaboration. Jeff completely went blank. He has worked hard to control such anxieties by learning to have a conversation with his audience.
- Jeff was also a musician throughout high school. His first band was doing a street party where Jeff was asked to be the band’s spokesperson. When he got behind the microphone, he started to babble on, and then he froze once again.
That type of presentation fear can be incapacitating, and he decided to overcome stage fright — here’s how he did it…
Of note, at the time there was no way to train for overcoming stage fright locally in Winnipeg. Jeff simply had to force himself into presentation situations over and over again in a trial by fire exercise, which ended up working to his advantage.
“Once you live through each one you start to relax a bit. My only solution at the time was exposure.”
Jeff now suggests a program like the one he offers at the Actors’ Training Centre of Manitoba where he uses a variety of acting and NLP techniques. He got interested in NLP through CAPS Manitoba member, Jacquie Nagy of Holistic Directions.
Acting is visceral and NLP is the scientific deconstructing of human behaviour.
What are your pet peeves when it comes to watching other speakers (or actors)?
Jeff openly discusses what he notices, and I love his choice of words!
1. Physical Leakages
We all have some nervous energy when we present, and we each have our unique ways of getting rid of it through various body parts i.e. twitching foot. Ideally, as an actor or presenter, you need to train yourself to rein in your nervous habits and physical leakages and focus it out through your eyes.
“This was a WOW moment for me and very much an eye-opener. As a public speaking instructor — I cannot wait to put this theory into action myself too!” – Anna Coleshaw-Echols
When a moving target never stays still it can be very distracting to the viewers. Speakers have to accept that you are enough. Also, you don’t have to be filling every moment with movement or constantly moving to fill up the space.
Join us January 18th!
Jeff Skinner will be sharing the core of what he teaches at the Actor’s Training Centre. CAPS Manitoba has chosen him to start off our 2014 speakers series to share what is the essence of where we all want to get to.
He will be “clearing in the forest” by opening our eyes to some of the key aspects of on-stage charisma from an actor’s point of view. It will be a morning not to be missed!
This presentation is a taste test for Jeff’s voice and charisma workshops. He promises to leave his listeners with some simple and very doable things to walk away with and ways to make simple, immediate changes.
You can learn more about our half-day January 18th event by clicking here.
Ready to register? Simply click here — first-time guests are FREE.
Our next CAPS Manitoba event will be a full-day session with CAPS Canada’s 2014 President Bob Parker on Saturday, February 15th. Learn more