Monday, June 22, 2009

how dance helped inspire a speaker

Right on the heels of hearing how music helped one woman overcome her public speaking fears is this great post by Katie Kemple on the Women Grow Business blog about how bellydancing taught her how to give a better speech. Kemple, who worked as a bellydancer in her 20s when her day job was managing PR for a nonprofit, notes that while she sometimes wrote speeches for her day job:
...as a bellydancer, I was performing at least 4 times a week. As such, my presentation skills improved faster as a dancer, and I began to discover why certain things work and other don’t. I had my bellydance successes — nights when the crowds were up on their feet dancing, cheering and throwing bills in the air. But, I also had my failures. The shows where my audience barely lifted a head from the dinner table to acknowledge my presence.
So working in a cubicle couldn't compete for the practice she gained.

Kemple breaks down her dance lesson for speakers in terms of props, improvisation, audience power (and why you should pay attention to it) and the concept of leaving them wanting more, too rare in many speakers. Enjoy this thoughtful and creative post full of a unique perspective on speaking, and let me know in the comments if other types of performance skills have helped you as a speaker, and how.