Actors can teach you a lot about making presentations. Whether you have to present during an interview or as a regular part of your job, the techniques used by movie and TV stars can help you perform more effectively. Here’s ten techniques gleaned from actors and the coaches who train them, to help you overcome your nerves and deliver better presentations.1. Good presentations require great preparation, but do not start by writing your presentation out like an essay. Caroline Goyder, a former acting coach at the Central School of Speech and Drama who helps business leaders to communicate effectively says, “Writing it down tempts you to just read it out, which gives a dead, impersonal delivery.”2. When thinking about what you want to say, turn your attention away from yourself and to your audience. What problem do they want you to help them solve? Then consider how you overcame that problem yourself and describe how you did it. This results in a more personalised presentation and builds a link between you and the audience.3. Note the points you want to make on sticky notes, in the form of pictures if you like. “Many actors use this trick to learn scripts as the brain remembers pictures for longer than words,” says Goyder. It leads to a more fluid and personal delivery than reading out a pre-written script, and you can easily swap the notes around to try out different structures for your presentation.4. Know all the points in your presentation inside out, but feel free to improvise when it comes to making them. This keeps your delivery fresh, however many times you have made the same presentation. Ed Brodow, a former actor who is now a professional speaker and negotiator, says improvisation led to one of his signature stories, about how he knocked his grandfather’s false teeth down the toilet. “It succeeds in getting the point across with warmth and humour,” says Brodow.5. Practise. Deliver your presentation into an audio or video recorder so you get used to what you sound and look like to an audience. Then deliver it to a live audience of colleagues, friends or family. Ask for constructive feedback.6. Make like Anthony Hopkins . Use what actors call personalisation. When Hopkins was playing serial killer Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs, he helped convey the inner anger of Lecter by reaching into his own experience of being so angry that he felt like killing someone. You can use this technique of tapping into your own emotional experiences to bring the impact of emotions such as joy, surprise or fear into your presentations.7. Find a visual way to back up your points, but try to be original rather than just using Powerpoint with words and graphs. Ed Brodow once beat up a rubber chicken as part of a presentation. It’s off the wall, but people remembered it.8. When it comes to delivery, take it slowly. Goyder cites a technique used by actor Ewan McGregor: deliver one thought at a time. Putting pauses between each thought helps you slow down. This is useful as nerves tend to speed up speech. Imagine you are delivering each point to one member of the audience and wait until you can see from their face that they have got it. This is a technique used by stand-up comedians.9. Take a tip from George Clooney, and think of the audience as close friends. “It makes you warm up and smile,” says Goyder.10. Finally, there is one tip you can try out right now. Many television and radio professionals use this technique to ensure that they come across as twinkling, charming and friendly. Think to yourself, “I’m beautiful; someone loves me; I have a secret.” Keeping that in mind, say what you have to say. Try it now with the next person you speak to. It really works.
Hot Springs, Virginia – Reported by Elite Traveler, the Private Jet Lifestyle MagazineSummer has brought big changes to The Homestead in Hot Springs, Virginia. The historic landmark resort dating from 1766 recently unveiled newly renovated guest rooms in its West Wing and Historic Tower, including its first-ever Governor’s Suite. There are also new menus at eight of The Homestead’s dining outlets, as well as new onsite activities and new spa treatments to engage guests of all ages. With a capital investment of $4 million, The Homestead, the birthplace of Southern hospitality, is ready to welcome guests to experience the resort’s renaissance in the heart of the Allegheny Mountains this summer.Historic Tower and West Wing Room Renovations: The Homestead debuts a total of 157 renovated guest rooms and suites this year, 67 of which are in the Historic Tower, and 90 in the West Wing. The Historic Tower celebrates its 80th anniversary in 2010, and along with new guest rooms, features the resort’s first ever Governor’s Suite. Richmond-based interior design firm Beaty and Brown directed the renovations of the Historic Tower and West Wing guest rooms, which feature a new and enhanced interior design. Regency style interiors are reflected in brightly colored, floral bouquet patterned prints and geometric stripes and plaids all of which complement the traditional guestroom elements including crown moldings, presidential style desks, four-poster beds and antique armoires. Other guest room enhancements include new pedestal sinks and wallpaper in the bathrooms.Located on the 17th floor of the Historic Tower, the resort adds a new Governor’s Suite, which is nearly 3,000 square feet. The suite includes a bedroom, a parlor, bathroom and a large exterior porch spanning 1,800 square feet. The porch has new wicker furniture including chaise lounges – the perfect vantage point to take in the stunning views of the Allegheny Mountains and countryside. The Governor’s suite also features a commemorative plaque with a letter from Governor McDonnell, along with a picture of the First Family, displayed on the wall outside of the suite.New Dining Menus: Executive Chef Mark Gallaudet unveils new dining concepts and menus at eight of The Homestead’s onsite restaurants, including the signature Main Dining Room. Famous for its breakfast buffets and nightly dinner and dancing, the Main Dining Room will now feature a very special new dinner menu, which is a celebration of past and present. The two columned menu features “Classics” on the left side – dishes The Homestead has become known for such as Sautéed Mountain Trout “Homestead” with peeled grapes and almonds in lemon butter sauce while “New Classics,” dishes appear on the right-hand side, celebrating fresh twists on traditional American cuisine, like Seared Black Bass with chorizo, littleneck clams, corn custard.New Resort Activities: As if three championship golf courses, a handsome shooting club, four tennis courts, a 48-stall equestrian center and one of the finest private trout streams in the state of Virginia weren’t enough, The Homestead recently added a new opportunities to its mix of recreational and sporting activities. New activities include archery, off-road adventures and Kids Golf on The Old Course, complete with junior tees, scorecards, and kid’s size rental equipment.New Spa Treatments and Services: The European-style Spa at The Homestead is introduces a new treatment menu as well as special new services, including Family Spa packages! Now, parents and kids can enjoy the spa together at The Homestead. New kids treatments include the strawberries and cream manicure and a chocolate pedicure. Adults can indulge in new therapies such as the Southern Harvest Apricot & Sweet Vanilla Wrap with a sweet vanilla sugar scrub and massage or a Buttercup Body Polish usingfresh buttercups that grow indigenously in the resort’s Cascades Gorge.www.thehomestead.com