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Wear a Persona

 

Techniques Public speaking > Preparing Yourself > Wear a Persona

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Pretend to be another person. Act the part.

Imagine someone  who would give you speech well. This can be someone you know, a famous personality (living or not) or even a fictional character. Imagine them standing there, like a dummy. Really visualize them. Then step forward into them. Feel your bodies and minds integrate. Then let them take over giving the speech whilst you feed them with the material.

You can use this method both for practicing and for giving the speech.

Example

I want to give a stirring speech about freedom. I pick Martin Luther King and watch a few videos of him to get the feel. When speaking, I then imagine him in Washington with his deep fire inside him. I step into the body and come alive with the energy. I let him say the words in his way, with his gestures.

Discussion

This is a method that actors use when they are 'getting into character'. Some actors stay in character when they put on the clothes and do not come out again until they take the character's clothes off again.

A part of what is happening here is a kind of self-hypnosis in that you believe something that is not 'real'. Yet it can be surprisingly easy to do, which is brilliant and can actually be a lot of fun.

There is always a danger with this that you get too much into a character that is quite different from your normal persona and so mystify the audience with a personality switch. If you practice beforehand, you will be able to watch this and learn to manage it. In practice this problem is quite rare.

See also

Hypnotism

 

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