Our annual event The Shakespeare Challenge is coming up, and we are getting excited! Registration has been open for about a month now and will remain open until Dec 18 2015, so time is starting to run out! We think Shakespeare is great, but did you know that performance can actually improve your performance in the office? Here are 5 easy acting exercises based off of the Alexander Technique that you can do daily at work to feel great!
1. Vocal Clarity & Power – Think of your voice as a hood that rises over your head from the nape of your neck, or as rising up from the top of your head. Just this simple shift in thought will open your voice up and give you vocal clarity and power! Keep this in mind and you’ll find it easier to project to the back of the conference room during your next presentation.
2. Breathing – This one is a big one, though it’s not something we usually have to actively think about. Try focusing in on your exhale, letting it extend longer than your inhale. Inhale for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 4 seconds, and then take 8 seconds to exhale. This simple exercise will lengthen and increase the efficiency of your breaths! Having more control over your breath will help you stay calm when stressed, and will make speaking for long periods of time a little easier on your body.
3. Posture – The way you carry yourself can affect the way that others perceive and react to you. If you’re constantly hunching your shoulders you physically appear smaller, and may send the message “I don’t deserve to take up as much space as my colleagues.” Try broadening your shoulders and chest, or elongating your neck and spine—you’ll project more confidence, and others will pick up on it.
4. Ease of Movement – Actors are rarely standing still, so being able to move freely is important, especially during a performance, but you can take this mentality with you to the office too. Take 5-10 minutes out of your workday to stretch and move your body! Roll your neck and shoulders, bend forward and try to touch your nose to your knees, or stretch out those wrists and forearms! These exercises are easy to do at your desk and will help loosen up any stiff muscles.
5. Feeling Grounded – This means putting both feet on the ground, trying feel each toe connecting with the floor, and bending your knees slightly. You’ll find your balance, posture, and breathing will improve with this power-stance, and your coworkers will perceive you as more confident.
Alexander Technique info source: http://www.freeyourneck.com/acting-the-alexander-technique/