Theatre skills for business

The Abbey Theatre has been offering theatre skills for business workshops to clients for almost 10 years. These workshops and individual coaching sessions are based on what the Abbey knows best – theatre and performance.

Andrea Ainsworth is the voice director at the Abbey Theatre and the core of her work is preparing the actors for performance on the stages. Ainsworth coaches actors, at all stages of their professional careers, on voice and on text. Using skills from the theatre, Ainsworth specialises in helping business clients find a more dynamic speaking style, to prepare them for presentations.

Phil Kingston, the Community and Education Manager, was an actor for many years and is also a skilled writer and storyteller. He specialises in team building, networking and storytelling workshops.

Many of the skills and techniques that are foundational to an actor’s craft can be hugely beneficial to business people. Actors are used to working with discipline, articulacy, and ambition. They train their voices and bodies so that they can speak with greater ease and clarity. They learn how to adjust their style of delivery to fill both large theatres and small studios, to speak both naturalistic and highly stylised texts with energy and truthfulness, to lift the words off the page and breathe life into them.

We coach our business clients using the same techniques. We work with them on how they stand, how they take space, how they breathe, speak, phrase, make clear points and tell their stories. We help them clarify their objectives and to refine their message to become more concise and impactful.

Speaking is active and when you speak you are always playing an action. Actions are what we do to someone else to get what we need or want. You may want to praise, calm, enlighten, challenge, encourage, warn, or galvanise your listeners.

The list of possible actions to play is endless. Being ‘in action’ makes you a more engaging speaker because you are speaking to rather than at your audience.

Our clients tell us they want to be more confident speakers; they want to have more presence, to make an impact, command the room, get promoted, to sound authentic and to influence their teams. We give them the tools to do just that.

To learn more about our theatre skills for business workshops:


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