Inside the Theatre of Business: Performance and Corporate Presentation Training
How are theatre-techniques used in business training? Do theatre-making skills represent a unique field of knowledge? In this case study, I consider the National Institute of Dramatic Art’s (NIDA) ‘Executive Presenter’ two- day course in Sydney, Australia, and attempt to counter a simplistic notion of theatre as magical practice. Performance techniques are complex, historically and culturally-contingent processes for making and sharing meaning (McAuley 2008). I describe exercises from the course in some detail ‒ including elements of space, voice, body, structure, awareness, spontaneity, and rehearsal ‒ and suggest that we can understand these presentation skills in a relationship of continuity with everyday meaning-making, rather than as a magical art form. On the one hand, NIDA trades off and reinforces the popular mystique surrounding acting. On the other hand, the course introduces simple and effective techniques of verbal and non-verbal communication. Ultimately, my investigation considers the claim made in marketing the course that ‘public speaking can come naturally to you.’
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).