Step One. The Public Realm is a Three-Dimensional Theatrical Space
Context and Premise: When you produce yourself in front of a group or an audience, you are being faced with an interesting phenomenon called theatrical duality. Without intending to turn public speakers into actors or performers, the validity and power of acting skills can be demonstrated time and time again within my coaching and directing experience.
Theatrical duality is born out of the expectation an audience always carries within while waiting for the “show” to begin. It is inevitable even in the most technical presentations. Theatricality has rules, principles, etiquette and requirements, which cannot be ignored, as they are essential to successful public appearances.
No other realm challenges us like the public realm, as it cleverly demands a re-contextualization of who we are, in order to deliver on the promise of the presentation at hand. In addition, no other realm exposes “who we are and who we are not” so clearly. In my view, it counts as one of the most useful training grounds to build self-confidence, self-reliance and a host of other valuable tools essential to a healthy personal development.
The public arena is a three-dimensional space or spaciousness, which needs to be filled with life and self-expression. It is empty and meaningless without that filling. This is where the courage to act, speak and make ourselves visible is confronting yet life affirming.
Space is what there is to identify with and become aware of first. Space is what grants speakers their freedom. The content of a presentation has to be distinguished from the context or that which contains it.
Space is the true medium of speaking and, for that matter, acting. Often, too much emphasis is given to verbal communication alone and the words or content of presentations.
What make a presentation flat are the lack of space and the lack of quality of the space. Space is where we dwell. Of course we never confront it until we are in public and we feel or sense the lack of it. A shy individual has removed his or her natural boundary space around him- or herself.