By Charlie Walker-Wise on Friday, 13 March 2015
Category: Miscellaneous

Presenting without Props

Charlie Walker-Wise, Business Development Manager, RADA in Business

I’ve been reflecting on the experience for non-theatre professionals when they come to work with us at RADA. Over the last couple of months we’ve had major events here with large numbers of people from media agencies, banks, consultancies, government and retail brands.

At the beginning of these experiences I pose them a question: What do they see when they look around their office? What are the tools they use to do their job? Invariably the answer is “phone”, “computer”, “desk”. Then I ask them what they see here at RADA as I stand in front of them. The answer is “nothing”, just an empty space. This space is the actor’s “office” and the tools used are the body and the voice. Actors at RADA spend three years learning how to use these tools incredibly effectively but these skills are not the preserve of the actor. They are not rarefied, or sacred; they are universal human skills and, with a little guidance, can be honed to improve credibility and confidence.

Our training, both for actors and business-people, focuses on removing as many of the barriers to authentic communication as possible. Actors are taught that being authentic, flexible and open can have a profound impact on an audience. They do this by using their tools (body and voice) in a focused and dynamic way to give them a choice about how are being perceived.

It is fascinating to watch the people we train in RADA in business become brilliant communicators and learn to use the tools that make actors compelling and engaging. We help people understand that this does not require reinventing the wheel, it’s not rocket science or the untouchable property of talented actors. Anyone can learn how to be a powerful communicator.

We all use tools in our work. The important bit is learning to recognise all the tools available to you and then how to use them most effectively.