Should You Take an Acting Class | Public Speaking | Presentation Skills

Here is a question that I get quite often: TJ, I want to become a better speaker, should I be taking an acting class? And I tell them the same thing every time: no!

If you want to become a better actor and pick up a new hobby in acting, then by all means, take an acting class. But I don’t necessarily think that there is a translation of skill that helps you with public speaking. Here is why: I know that both situations are somewhat similar what with you needing to be up on the stage in front of everyone, moving your mouth and body, and talking.

However, when you act, you are pretending to be another person. You are trying to read someone else’s script and you are trying to put in someone else’s emotions on display. when you are giving a speech or a presentation and you are really good at it, it is the exact opposite of acting, and that is why I think it is not helpful.

I have seen many speakers who get up and start walking around and it is obvious that they are acting. If there is a thing audiences around the world good at spotting these days is spotting bad acting because we have all seen thousands of hours of comedy and dramas made every year. So it is easy to spot bad acting,. When you are giving a speech, you should not be acting but you should be yourself speaking with some passion and conviction.

When I talk in videos, that is how I talk in real life. It is not acting and so it does not seem like it. So if you want to get better at speaking, my recommendation is to speak and maybe get some speaking training.

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