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Gargh
August 3rd, 2012, 11:24 PM
Hi, I'm attending my local open mike venue next week to try out my poetry for the first time publicly. I'm a terrible public speaker, I stammer and fluster like a nerd in a knicker-drawer. Any tips anyone?!

alanmt
August 4th, 2012, 12:05 AM
Practice before you go. Have a beer to calm your nerves. If you screw up, don't freak out; just start the line over. Cheer for everyone else who performs and they may be kind to you in return. Don't beat yourself up if it is not perfect. You get better as you do it more. Speak loud enough for people to hear. Don't look at anyone in particular. Take one or two friends with you. Make sure you empty your bladder within 30 minutes before you get on the stage.

WhitakerRStanton
August 4th, 2012, 01:47 AM
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Cran
August 4th, 2012, 03:57 AM
Hi, I'm attending my local open mike venue next week to try out my poetry for the first time publicly. I'm a terrible public speaker, I stammer and fluster like a nerd in a knicker-drawer. Any tips anyone?!

Assuming you want your poems to go over well, and with only a week to prepare, you have two options:

One - rehearse, recite, repeat ... go over each poem at every free moment, and set aside some rehearsal time each day to do it properly ... do that so that you don't have to read the poems on the night, but instead be able to focus and put life into your voice, emotion into their ears, and experience that special energy which flows back to you when it's working as it should*; or

Two - make friends with a good stage actor or public speaker, and convince said friend to read on your behalf whilst you join the rest of the audience and bathe in the atmosphere ...

*Oh, and remember to breathe ... gasping doesn't work well, unless it's a death scene ...

ETA: if you're not used to microphones, try not to get distracted by that strange (but somehow familiar) voice that seems to be bouncing your words back to you ...

Bloggsworth
August 4th, 2012, 09:43 AM
Practice, practice, practice, practice, practice, practice, practice...

Trilby
August 4th, 2012, 10:32 AM
Get a book on public speaking for the library or book store.

Practice, by reading your poems out in front of a mirror.

Try to imagine the experience in a positive manner - an opportunity to learn and progress through hands on experience; by doing instead of just thinking about it.

Good luck

Trilby
August 4th, 2012, 10:56 AM
I say at the very last second you don't go through with it and just walk out.

Quitters never win and winners never quit... Quitters never win and winners never quit... Quitters never win and winners never quit... Quitters never win and winners never quit... etcetera, etcetera, etcetera...

Bloggsworth
August 4th, 2012, 11:21 AM
Another idea is to record yourself in order to check that you are getting the pauses, inflections and line breaks right.

Squalid Glass
August 4th, 2012, 12:27 PM
Wear a hat.

Gargh
August 4th, 2012, 01:58 PM
I say at the very last second you don't go through with it and just walk out.

Thanks, no, really, thank you so much for your kind words.

I like this idea though...




Two - make friends with a good stage actor or public speaker, and convince said friend to read on your behalf whilst you join the rest of the audience and bathe in the atmosphere ...


it would be nice to hear someone else read my stuff and also gauge reactions in a way you just can't when you're concentrating on every syllable!


Thanks to everyone who genuinely offered advice. And I love the idea of wearing a hat - although the only one I have is a Drizabone Slouch which may look a bit out of place indoors...!

Gumby
August 4th, 2012, 02:15 PM
You could always dress like this. It may distract the audience away from any mistakes you make if you beat the bongo and make it look like it was on purpose. :)


3152

Gargh
August 4th, 2012, 02:34 PM
You may joke, but I went along to the previous month's event and one guy who got up was dressed not far off that and proceeded to sing 'redemption song' a cappella! Quite a liberal interpretation of performance poetry but, once I managed to stifle my laughter, he wasn't too bad... and they seemed to be quite a forgiving, regular audience so - fingers crossed!

Segrotlo
August 4th, 2012, 08:01 PM
Lots of good advice up there.

I would like to assure you as a speech instructor once did our class:

Most likely your poem or the recitation will not be so bad that the audience will throw things at you. And, most likely, they won't stand cheering while tears run down their cheeks. Chances are they will see the good in it and forgive the rough spots. When it is over you will have more confidence.

Have a friend record it for review. If you like it post it somewhere so we may view it too.

(Good luck / break a leg: Choose appropriate encouragement.)

:)

WhitakerRStanton
August 4th, 2012, 08:27 PM
~

Gargh
August 8th, 2012, 05:41 PM
Thanks everyone! It wasn't too bad. Could've done better, could've done worse... one down, at least five hundred more to go if I ever stand a crack at being a successful poet! And I am going to reward myself by buying a lovely new hat ready for the winter Breton Caps | Hat Sales | Midlands | Earland Brothers UK (http://www.earlandbrothers.co.uk/hat-styles/breton-hats) - I just can't decide on a colour! :confused:

DW Keech
August 8th, 2012, 06:32 PM
You are the master of your piece! No one knows it like you so if you make a mistake, keep going and act confident. Trust me, unless you draw attention to a problem...no one will know it exists. Relax! Have fun! Enjoy yourself, your venue, and your audience. Your listeners will react as much to your enthusiasm as to your actual work.

Bravo to you for open mic!

alanmt
August 8th, 2012, 06:37 PM
Congrats on your first reading!

I had a reading last Friday. Two guys had a very loud conversation going just a few feet from the stage. The funniest thing was this baby that had been sleeping quietly for an hour before during music, other poets, and general conversation, but a few moments after I started reciting, he woke up and just wailed and wailed. Thus, I may now state proudly that my poetry makes babies cry.

Trilby
August 8th, 2012, 11:08 PM
Congrats on your first reading!

Ditto!

Well done.

Gumby
August 9th, 2012, 01:55 PM
You survived! :) Congratulations.

Gargh
August 12th, 2012, 12:47 PM
Thanks again everyone.




I had a reading last Friday. Two guys had a very loud conversation going just a few feet from the stage. The funniest thing was this baby that had been sleeping quietly for an hour before during music, other poets, and general conversation, but a few moments after I started reciting, he woke up and just wailed and wailed. Thus, I may now state proudly that my poetry makes babies cry.

Oh you poor soul! That's unforgivably rude - the guys that is - the baby, well, it's a good strong reaction at least... but I'm guessing your poems weren't intended to be sad?!

Don V Standeford
December 4th, 2012, 09:55 AM
Tell a joke. Once you hear the audience laugh the rest is easy.