There are multiple questions we spend our entire human lives trying to find the answer to.
Why was I not born George Clooney?
How is it I’m anything at all?
And what makes me happy?
These are just a few; however it’s one, in particular, that’s in a constant, perpetual motion of learning.
The question, WHO AM I?
I used to work in Film and TV, as my full-time job. I’ve had the pleasure of working with many different Directors, of which some were great, some were Ok, and some really had no idea how to communicate what they needed from you at all. But it was always hearing this direction that was instantly confusing, and was a fair giveaway of their Directing pedigree, ‘Andrew, just be you’.
To be fair, this was closely followed by, ‘Just give me more’. Great, will do, but more what specifically?
‘Just be you’, what does that even mean? Just be me, doing what? Happy Andrew, excited Andrew, not sure Andrew, perplexed Andrew or just be me right now, which is confused Andrew? I need specifics! I’ve quite the reserve bank full of different emotions; sometimes I don’t even know what to call them. I’m a reasonably layered guy, I can do more ‘just be me’ all day, but what specifically were you after?
Being told to ‘Just be you’ was about as helpful as me thinking, back in 1994 that I could walk into a library and get books on Acting to learn this art, and make a success of it. In case you’re wondering, you can’t learn acting from Books and neither, how to Present.
Just be you, has no meaning. We spend our lives trying to understand and figure ourselves out. God, try asking someone in their 20’s if they know who they are yet? That very question used to tie my mind in knots, and then some, almost every day when I was that age. And to be fair, who I am today, tomorrow or even in another hour or so can change.
So then, what is the answer, what do I propose we swap for that amazing pearl of wisdom, ‘JUST BE YOU’?
25 years in this business, and what I’ve created is my own style, a brand of Presenting that’s what I call effortless. Not only is it effortless but also its totally congruent with whom you are, without having to tie your head up in knots trying to figure out what that even means.
They KEY is to ‘NOT CHANGE STATE’.
If we don’t change state before we Present, then we don’t have to over think what we’re doing or who we need to be. We simply begin, either talking to the camera or a live audience. And who we are in that moment is enough, the rest will take care of itself as the moments organically build on one another.
Not changing state takes all pressure off, for we simply begin in the current state we are in and then, moment-to-moment, our journey will shape how we feel and react.
Effectively, for example, who you are brushing your teeth or at the side of stage is exactly the same person who begins their Presenting on stage. What happens organically is a slow change of state as energy and the aforementioned moments build on one another.
No change of state has changed the way not only I mentor Presenters and get the very best out of them, no matter what level, but has also revolutionized that way I Present also. To be the example of which I speak.
So next time you go to Present to Camera or a Live Audience, make a decision to not change state.
Forget about ‘feeling’ it before you start, just start, and the ‘feeling’ will come. There is no YOU, there is only what it is you’re being in that moment and to begin, that is enough.
‘If I just am, then it is’