Over the last few months I’ve had the privilege of meeting and observing at close quarters Oscar winning actor Sir Ben Kingsley and the genius Sacha Baron Cohen amongst others as their combined talent is brought to bear in a feature film that my son Asa takes the lead role in. I’ve observed their technique and style in working with Asa) and noted how each brings a unique presence to a scene even before the camera has started rolling. My observations and deep dive in to the world of acting has enabled me to develop and refine a workshop with Amanda Brennan (senior acting coach at Central School) that brings these techniques to the heart of leadership development through cultivating presence and heightening impact.
Our workshop aimed at senior leaders, coaches and others who need to communicate with presence, necessarily starts from the ground, our source of stability and power, and from there we work to develop posture and breath to enable the energetic centering that is so crucial to cultivating presence. Through a close look at default physical patterns in our body we can see where energetic blocks might occur and can suggest movements and exercises to increase flow and therefore strength of presence.
Workshop participants to date have found Psychological Gesture (a psycho-physical technique developed by Michael Chekov for actors and translated for the leadership audience) a powerful tool in their communication armoury – developing intent from simply a thought and moving it through the whole body using movement. Hard to describe but powerfully felt as an exercise.
Combined with real time feedback and a high degree of personal attention our participants have left feeling not only energised and challenged by the workshop but are clearly discovering something new about their whole body (physical, energetic, and mind) that can ‘exercised’ and tapped to cultivate presence in situations that demand it.
Watch this space for more detail of work to supplement this workshop. Do get in touch if you’d like to experience this work for yourself.