How to develop Public Speaking skills in the Theatre


When an individual is delivering a message on stage, keeping your audience interested is essential.   Powerful public speakers are not born with a natural talent for effective presenting as you may think. The fact is that some people are better oral communicators than others, but this technique can be learned. Using theatrical techniques can improve your public speaking in many ways. Theatrical techniques will enhance your stage positioning, speech & movement, and develop charisma to content and personality.  Make every move count, think like actor, using different positions of the stage will help you with powerful stand and position. When a person moves upstage your message may seem powerful vs if you are downstage (see diagram a).

Image (a)  Stage Positions.

 How your message is perceived depends a lot on the position you are in at the time. Moving from upstage to downstage in order to make an important point can be highly effective.

  • Stage Right and Stage Left refer to the actor’s, or speakers, point of view.
  • The position Downstage Right is perceived by many audiences as having intimacy and importance. In the theatre, love scenes, monologues and narration are usually performed Down Right. Great public speakers use this position for their most important content, or for stories that have a strong emotional effect. This technique will help them capture the audience and keep it.
  • During the opening, and/or the closing, and at the most important content of your speech, knowing your stand is essential to keeping your audience’s attention.

Knowing where you are in relationship to everything else on stage while delivering an effective speech is can be powerful. As a public speaker, you should always think about the stage from the audience point of view of content, keeping it balanced and visually interesting.  It’s always important to look at the placement of furniture in relation to YOU and where you are in the audience’s view.  Using these simple theatrical techniques in you speech will help you appear more powerful and polished to your audience.

Image b. Staging

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