Basics are foundational.. tangible.. concept-lite.. directional points to remember when facing the unknown. Begin with an apparatus check..<> breath.. relaxed, deep, easy and centered <> body..fully present, actively letting go of tension. <> face.. no holding, relaxed jaw, no furrowed brows. <> hands.. loose, shake them, feel them ready for action <> feet .. grounded, not planted. <> eyes.. scan the room, focus on specific individuals - do this each time before you speak. <> voice.. clear, articulate, well-supported from the diaphragm, and calmly projected to the back of the room. <> words.. practice your content, but don't memorize it. Learn the shape of your story, and cleave to that contour like you were skiing down a mountain slope. <> connect.. don't lose eye contact, don't cave in on yourself, lift yourself up and extend outwards from your center. <> gestures.. relaxed, unforced, in tune with the rhythm of your thoughts. <> playful.. quick and unpredictable, always in the room, always aware of what's happening outside and around you <> dynamic.. alternating rhythms, punctuating thoughts, shifting emphasis and intensity. <> style.. freedom to be yourself, to take chances, to make mistakes, to trust in yourself and your audience. <> generous.. be appreciative of the opportunity, genuine interest (né wonder!) in who these assembled people are, and your great good fortune at being before them. <> humble .. never lose your humility or your beginner's mind, let go of control and focus on riding the moment as best you can. When you do that - the audience will know it and they will let you know it too.

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Photo: Mark Rahmani