Monday, 11 March 2013

They were …. who?

Today I am having my little ‘tanti’ …bear with me! To me the essence of performing (on or off stage) is to connect and communicate!

Last Saturday night I attended an ‘Abba tribute’ at a local RSL club.
Ok it was the RSL; yes it was free…yes there was alcohol!

I have been to a free event at an RSL before where there was alcohol and it was terrific and I enjoyed it! I did NOT enjoy last Saturday night. That got me thinking why!

I enjoy Abba music; I was expecting to be entertained and to enjoy the night. I did not set out with the ‘let’s see what they can do’ and ‘let’s pick them to pieces’ attitude. I was expecting light, bright and fun loving!

Knocking someone who is ‘having a go’ is not what I do, being supportive comes more naturally to me…yet this niggled at me!

Here is an Abba video clip…you may be a fan also.   

To my way of thinking, Abba had 3 things – a distinctive style and sound, presence and energy.

This group did not! Yes, they knew the Abba songs, yes, they sang and some of it was good and yes, they had Abba style costumes…what they lacked was authenticity and stage presence.

The tribute came across to me as ‘empty and soul-less’, the group had little stage presence, it was like they were going through the motions of an over practised routine which had become boring. Even their movements were mechanical, dull and uninteresting.

I felt no connection to the group or the music and I LIKE Abba music!

The lack of stage presence was reinforced by a lack of energy bordering on boredom – like ‘oh well, performance 345 under our belt… next…’ and…’can we go home now! ‘

It was me who went home! Yes I left early…

It got me thinking about delivering a presentation….that is part of what I do, speak and coach on confidence and presentation skills.

Connecting and communicating with any audience is paramount! Even if your presentation is a conversation between two. When you stop to think about it life is a series of presentations and life is what we do and live every day.

When you are passionate about your subject, it shows, it is projected out through your energy, your thoughts, your words and your expressions.

We are all such fabulous unique people, we all have a distinctive style…I urge you whatever you do… be authentic…be who you are…last Saturday this group were ‘on stage as Abba’…Noooooo they weren’t presenting as Abba.

When you listen to a performer or speaker they have a style of presenting that is totally them.  If you haven’t noticed before, then next time you are watching a show or go to a movie…take note...just for you!

Whatever you choose to do…be that person and live it to the fullest, grow to know and understand your signature style. By all means take what is appropriate and you think will enhance you, from what you see and hear in others...and incorporate it into your style.

Presence is a force that comes into a room or onto a stage with the person. You know they have entered and that they know what they are about!  Your presence is about when you are being you… authentically, your inner strength and power is released and flows.

To often we go through life thinking we should model ourselves on or be someone else…often because we don’t think we are good enough, or not enough, or too fat, thin, tall, short, blonde or brunette. As the saying goes ‘be yourself, everyone else is taken’.

When you do this, your energy flows because of your passion and your presentation will be congruent with who you are…your audience will know when you are not. Have you ever watched a performer and thought something is just not right? That is what I observed last Saturday night.  

Style and presence draw forth your energy. Now I don’t necessarily mean jumping all over the place…if that suits your style then go for it. I am talking about that inner energy that puts the oomph into your presentation. You know what I am going to say…the oomph was missing also!

Presentation in every form is how you show up for life…your life…

’Tanti’ over…finally I applaud the group for performing...not for the performance last Saturday night!

And…I still love Abba music! Actually it is playing in the background as I write.

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