Being slightly apprehensive about any type of amateur dramatics after three years of Key Stage 3 Drama, I was slightly sceptical about what our third module would contain.
Was I going to have to work out some improvised scenes in front of the group, or was I going to have to master the art of French mime or even worse, recite Shakespeare to make me a better presenter…? Thankfully it didn’t contain any of that and ended up being something that further bolstered the things I learnt in our first module!
The session was run by two professional actors, one of which I had to contain my excitement when he revealed he’d done some work on the BBC’s Casualty!
We started off the session with a very basic exercise. Simply walking onto the ‘stage’, introducing ourselves, what we do and where we work, and then thanking the group and walking off.
Sounds simple right? Wrong! Each one of us have our own unique quirks, and sadly I was no exception to the rule! Something I’ve always done when presenting is to make sure I have something in my hand. It’s not something I go out of my way to be aware of holding or bring attention to, but it is something that helps me present.
Turns out I brought attention to this by scrabbling to look for a pen before I did my introduction. It was interesting because the two actors spotted two things about it that actually showed me that I was really OK without it. It all came down to not quite knowing what to do with my hands. Hands actually don’t bring attention to you in unwanted ways, they’re part of the whole package that is me! The vital learning here was that when presenting, I shouldn’t be judging myself, the audience are and 9/10 there’s nothing out of the ordinary that is usually judged!
Another big learning that we had, was that humans tend to worry about what they are presenting, rather than how we’re presenting it. The two actors very kindly demonstrated how body language, tone and emphasis could change the very meaning of the same words they were saying. It reaffirms the saying of focussing on how I’m saying things, rather than what I’m saying! A fun fact we also learnt here was that the French refer to Pie charts as a Camembert! Cheesy right?
We then spent the rest of the afternoon trying to respond in a client facing situation, having to deal with a tricky situation! Definitely this was something that made me sweat!
I’m the type of person who will at all costs try to avoid conflict or try to be the medium that allows for a peaceful resolution. Let’s just say that it wasn’t a perfect role play! I jumped far too forward in trying to get to a resolution that I didn’t take the time to try to explore and discover what the issue was to support the resolution that I’d work towards achieving.
I came away with three big commitments that I want to work on over the year to come, very handily I’ve photographed and uploaded this below! I’m really enjoying the course so far, the personal awareness that these last few sessions have opened up to me have just been a great bit of insight into myself.