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Performance: Stop the Lean (In)

Presentation is an interesting craft — You are sending information and intention out into a room, hopefully with enough energy and flair that it has the desired impact. It is difficult even for those of us with years of acting and stage performance training to be “on” all the time. The key is to bring everything you currently possess and fight the temptation to lean past where the truth lies.

What do I mean by that?

Sometimes, this leaning is physical. Someone leaning so far forward that a slight nudge might send them physically into the audience (ask me about my first professional song recital sometime). Others, it is a frenzy of activity and props that make the Presenter feel as if they are making their point but have little, or worse, a poor impact on the audience. To be clear, I am not saying that your signature thing, your gimmick, isn’t valuable. But I have some questions: How and why did you acquire this “thing”? Is it a part of you, or just something you do for entertainment purposes? Does it feel completely organic and true for you?

The fix to what one of my favorite acting mentors calls “fakey-bad” presentation is this, and it is vulnerable.

Present from a place of truth.

If you breathe magic or music or whathaveyou, you will be able to weave that into your presentations with effort but well. If not why not try just being you for a while. Sending yourself energetically in voice and movement into space, towards 100, 500, 4000 seats is just hard. It is even harder to do while leaning in wearing someone else’s shoes.

Gina Razón is the principal voice specialist at GROW Voice LLC, a full-service voice and speech studio in Boston’s Back Bay.  She has over 16 years of experience both as a teacher of voice and speech, and a voraciously curious voice user.  Gina has worked professionally as a classical singer for over a decade and more recently as a professional public speaker.  For more information on the studio or to book Gina visit

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