How Acting Training Helps Speakers

If you read my biography, you’ll find out that, prior to my career as an executive coach, I was a professionally trained actor. In fact, I took it all the way to Rutgers University and a terminal degree – Masters of Fine Arts (MFA). The three year MFA conservatory program was dedicated to the study of the Sanford Meisner Technique under the tutelage of the country’s most lauded master teachers Maggie Flanigan and William Esper. Only 8 women and 11 men were accepted into the program for my year. I felt very fortunate to be selected to be a part of that exclusive program and to have the opportunity to master a technique that is one of the world’s most respected.

So much of what I have learned in my acting classes, scene studies, voice and speech training, and performances on stage and screen, informs the way I coach my clients in their communication. Below is a short video in which Charlie Sandlan, one of Maggie’s primary teachers at The Maggie Flanigan Studio, talks about emotion, behavior, and process. These concepts – which I translate into useful techniques, tools and strategies for speaking – are key in the success of my clients.

Most important to both the acting and public speaking process is what Charlie says about emotion as a side-effect or symptom of good crafting and preparation. The emotion in acting of which he speaks is much like the dynamism, credibility and energy most people seek to project in their spoken communication.

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