It can be a delicate operation to separate a story’s performance issues from a story’s content and structure. In this series I am only looking delivery, not content.
I mentioned in the last post something I have dubbed being ‘stiff with preparation’ and this happens when we have too much riding on the event.
We prepare the story (or presentation) to within an inch of its life. Either we are filled with visions of failure and humiliation or we imagine the accolades and responses when its delivered, (or maybe thats just me…).
By the time we stand up to tell, there is so much weight on our story it can’t breathe, we can’t breathe, we are stiff with intention and result, stiff with our image of how it will be, stiff with the hours of preparation.
What's missing, and often this comes with experience, and reflection, is being ‘in the moment’.
Granted this is perhaps an overused phrase and underused practice taught as a lifelong goal by the Buddhists, but the ability to quiet the mind and its doubting, anticipating, judging voices, and fully immerse yourself in the moment, is the grace of great storytelling.
It is a state of awareness; awareness of yourself as teller, the story as world of imagination and the audience as reacting listeners. It is a place of balance.
It is an approach to storytelling where the telling is enjoyable for its own sake, regardless of any outcome, any feedback or any comparison. It is where you aim to be able to play with the story, the audience and your performance.
So that’s it for my take on performance pitfalls. (There are of course loads more, I've just focussed on the meta one that helps all the rest.)
The next post will be a personal story about performance. So you don’t miss it, subscribe and it will be delivered to your in box.
And if you have a story or presentation ready and want a free 30 minute discovery session with me on a Tuesday afternoon, book your session here
I'd love to hear your take on story performance, so leave a comment below. And if you enjoyed this post, please like and share on social media.