“Your body is your most powerful AV tool!”

Indira Etwaroo (right) giving Wendy Suzuki some performance advice.

The OpEd Studio on Thursday, June 9 welcomed Indira Etwaroo, executive producer of WNYC’s “The Greene Space.” As a dancer, musician and scholar, Indira brought her performance expertise to the women at the OpEd Studio. Students bravely gave professional and genuinely fascinating presentations in their areas of expertise (everything from neuroscience to corporate responsibility!) Indira and the class gave helpful critiques and cheerful encouragement. An expert on performance techniques, Indira offered her insights and advice over the course of the evening. Some highlights included:

• Powerpoint presentations are rarely the best or most effective way to get your point across to an audience, especially if you want them to stay awake.

• Your body is your most powerful AV tool.

• We all have our “security blankets”, even when it comes to public speaking. They may be reading glasses or a coffee mug. As long as they work with your message, feel free to keep them.

• Get comfortable with your body. This may sound easy, but it becomes a bit more complicated when you’re addressing an audience.

• Practice your presentation at home as often as possible. The more you repeat it to your bathroom mirror, the easier speaking to a live audience will be.

• Have command of yourself, the material and the space. Really own the space you’re in. If that means arriving a few minutes earlier to get acquainted with the stage or lecture hall, try to arrange that.

• Be funny! Don’t be afraid to have a personality. Avoid professional or academic jargon, especially when addressing a general audience.

-Katherine Milsop

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