In Actors, Body language, Gesturing, Learning from Luminaries, Media, News, The Winning Voice, Video, Voice, What not to do

Consider these two bits of information.

#1.If you stop moving your head around, you’ll be a movie star”. (director, Steven Spielberg, speaking to actor George Clooney on the set of the television series ER quoted in a New Yorker magazine article.

#2. Below is a 26:55 minute video clip of an interview with actor Hugh Laurie. Laurie is a captivating speaker.* Watch as much of the clip as you want to. What I want you to pay attention to, are his shoulders.

Why do I share these bits of information?

Simply, because . . .

Stillness signals certainty

Let me explain.

Regarding Clooney, here is what he said (as quoted in the article) in response to Spielberg’s comment.

“It was a funny thing; when you do a lot of television, over the years you tend to try to do too much. Most of the time you’re not the lead, and you’re, ‘O.K., I’m going to be eating potato chips!’ (He mimed someone throwing food into his mouth)

“You’re trying to fill the screen with business all the time.” He added,

“When you’re unsure is when you start to move.

When you don’t know what you’re going to say.”

The reason to pay attention to Laurie’s shoulders is, that they don’t move. They are still. Note how well settled Laurie is in the chair.

Related the Clooney’s comment. As opposed to when you’re calm, when you’re unsure or nervous you’ll move your shoulders or your head, or other parts of your body.

Overall, we perceive Laurie as confident in himself, in who is and what he does. He moves in concert with the words he’s speaking.

Despite his masterful presentation, at the start of the clip as the host introduced him, Laurie does leak uncertainty through three behaviours.

Namely – pressed lips, a facial grimace and an upward gaze. I correlate these signals of doubt, with his statement in the clip.

“Having a lack of confidence in my own role I meddle in others.”

So take heart, even luminary actors have doubt in presenting themselves and their ideas.

Here is the LINK to CLIP

*A part of Laurie being a captivating speaker, is his deep resonant voice, understated speaking and general insouciance.

Own the Conversation

Over the next seven days:

#1 Pay attention/Observe any movement of your head, shoulders, arms and body.

#2 Consider whether the movement comes from being unsure or from feeling nervous.

#3 In a meeting, strive to move on purpose. Not from nervousness.

p.s. Here is a post where you can learn from John Wayne’s body language.

Wayne is a legend of American movie stars.

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