At a commercial shoot yesterday there were plenty of places to focus.
Producer, director of photography, audio tech and three clients—yeah, the people who have to get it right and pay the bill. Add Mr. Adrenaline who messed with my breath and body while I worked to deliver my memorized lines.
All these fine folks gathered somewhere around the camera with me, in a solo gig, facing them all.
So, who to focus on? Who to satisfy?
On the corporate stage, I’ve had the exhilarating experience of talking to thousands via live video in venues ranging from the New York Stock Exchange to a hi-tech lab in Silicon Valley and smaller venues in between. All were “look-right-into-the-camera-lens-and-talk” situations. Each time I was faced with the multi-focus dilemma that messes with presenter performance.
Just before the live broadcasts started, my mind ricocheted among audience members, nearly obsessing with what each would think—“oh no, my boss”–“Oh No, their boss”–“OH NO, the SEEE-EEEE-OOOHHH” my mind would scream. And in the commercial shoot it happened again, bouncing off each stakeholder in attendance.
WAIT! JUST FLIPPIN’ STOP FOR A SECOND!!!
My rational mind pushed to the front of the chaos.
“With all these competing focal points I don’t stand a chance of delivering authentic, compelling, actionable content that can really help someone. Unless….
…I identify who I’m really talking to.”
Just seconds before I went live, I realized that my performance wasn’t for my boss or their boss or the CEO! No, I was acting for the individual sitting in their cubicle, somewhere in the world with whom I had a shot at making a difference in what they felt about their job, their company and their customers.
Ah! There’s my focal point.
Yesterday, though deeply caring about what the production crew and especially the client thought, I was actually talking to someone at home watching TV who could benefit from the information being presented. Being a healthcare message, it could really mean the difference between feeling great, or being disabled.
Realizing that, I looked into the camera lens and imagined the face of someone I could help. There’s my focus—streamlined, on point, personalized.
For you as Actor (authentic communicator who commands their stage), when facing your multiple-member Audience, get past distraction and on to Action with laser focus on one person you can help.
After all, it’s your stage, your performance. And with clear focus, you’re on!