Ariane de Melo is a mother, a Literature-Lover and a Soul Music fanatic. She has been a professional theater actress for twenty years. She draws on her experience in Performing Arts to connect with audiences around the world.
She officially coaches speakers for several TEDx events; as an award-winning playwright and Dark Fantasy author, she knows all the secrets to captivating storytelling and how to teach others to use their uniqueness to stand out. She has been training Experts into Public Speaking and creating high-profile speakers by helping them get in touch with their creativity and dreams, through the power of acting.
Victor Ahipene: Speaking nation, what’s happening? Welcome to another episode of public speaking secrets. I’m your host, Victor Ahipene. And two day we’ve got a high energy theatrical superstar, Arianna, and she is, uh, going to, we’re going to delve into kind of the theatrical side, which, uh, we, I’ve got some cool questions or hopefully they call, I’ve got some questions that are on my mind in regards to the theatrical side when it comes to public speaking. And then we’re going to have a look at maybe the storytelling and the teen space as well if we’ve got time. So welcome to the show.
Ariane de Melo: Thank you very much. I’m very excited. Thank you for the invitation.
Victor Ahipene: You’ve got 20 years of the theatrical side of things helping people, you know, and, and the public speaking space as well. What do I want to kind of delve into first as I talked to lots of different speakers and speaking to coaches and everyone’s got their own opinion on where things sit, what matters the most? Is it the content that you deliver? Is it how you deliver it from, yeah, the vocal standpoint or the theatrical delivery? Uh, is that yeah, you’re, yeah, there’s all these little different facets in regards. So people get an idea, where do you sit in that space? Yeah, I know there’s the, obviously the magical thing of you have awesome content with, you know, a great voice and you, you put on a put on a performance for people. But how do you feel the theatrical side of it fits into all of it?
Ariane de Melo: So what I do is as a definitely a, how you say something is more important, what you’re saying. Yeah. I can say something and a very rude way. And if I say it in a very nice way, people will get it and we’re like sap tid or understand it in a different way. So I am for this how you say it is more important than what you say, but yeah, what I do is everything in one. I am, I am, uh, a dark fantasy author. So I have the storytelling background. I am an actress and a theater director and I am pretty good at understanding people’s brands. That’s why I called myself the branding director. So theater is nothing more than helping the speakers with acting hacks to deliver better. It’s about to go inside of themselves and how to tell a story is how is your, how are you emotionally attached to something? It’s the way you give it. So I work with method acting and of course I tell people the posture, not take care of your posture and take care of your voice. I as an actress find it very, very important that you work on your voice because that’s what you speak. Using what? Sign language?
No, we’re not all deaf. We don’t all need sign language to communicate. And I am also very pro health. If you are a speaker and you use your voice to earn your money with it, if you were speaking every day or off on a stage, take care of your voice because it’s going to hurt. You’re going to hurt yourself eventually. So this is something that I really tried to tell people.
Victor Ahipene: And so before we dive back into the theatrical side of things, vocal health, what it’s easy to say, I mean it says saying be, be healthy with your body. And, um, people are like, yeah, yeah. Is it high fat? Is it this? Is it there? Does it, whatever. For, and I mean, I guess the vocal house side of things, there’s probably a new thing for a lot of people listening and they’ve gone, oh yeah. Like yeah, I don’t necessarily wake up and stop trying to be from the sound of music or something like that. Well, what would your hands are your tips be for people who are looking to dip their foot into looking after the voice a little bit more.
Ariane de Melo: So when you are on stage, even if you have a mic, the way you send your voice is important. The more powerful your voice, the more power for your presence and your messages. So start by learning how to identify your diaphragm, how to breathe from the diaphragm. This is the Oregon that actually helps you. What are your voice where it was supposed to be? We don’t use our voices the way we, I suppose to use our voices or voices land on throat or on the [inaudible] mostly we all speak too high. So I always say you don’t have to exercise every day. You don’t and you shouldn’t because you’re going to hurt your vocal cords if you stress them too much. I always say two to three times a week, 10 minutes exercises. It’s enough. So you learn how to breathe and then you exercise your mouth to bring the voice to the front and your exercise, your vocal chords to let them to make them stronger voice because that makes everything a little bit more colorful.
Victor Ahipene: I mean I’ve heard some from some different people like Roger Love. Yeah. He talks about your chest voice, your middle voice in your head voice and, and yeah he works with a lot of speakers but he also works with, you know, the world’s kind of be singers and things like that. And he said once they learn to activate those three different areas, because a lot of them just go head to chest and they missed this gap in between. And then yeah, he obviously has his worked at that highest level with the singers and once they unlock it, the whole music range completely changes. And I mean, it’s exactly the same, exactly the same for us as speakers if we’re not. There’s so many interesting things like you whisper and you think that’s easier on your voice, but it actually dries out your vocal chords and then you’re…
Ariane de Melo: really hard. It’s really tough. It can hurt your vocal chords really.
Victor Ahipene: It’s like if we, if we flip back into the, into the theatrical side of things you talked about, you know, uh, acting hat for speakers, what does that kind of look like from, yeah, look there, we’ll take this down. A keynote presenter, um, path. So someone who’s more into the keynote presentations, I know it was pretty applicable for, for all types of talks, but that person who’s up there that was, uh, had that opportunity to be that keynote presenter, what sort of things should they start off looking at if they’re looking to put that keynote presentation together from a, uh, from a theater side of things?
Ariane de Melo: So what I say is, I see from experience and from observation that many speakers, even some of have quite an experience. They talk to an audience. I sit there and I hear that they are talking to strangers and this doesn’t get to me as an audience, Ellison, listener, I don’t have the feeling they are talking to me so I tell him especially I coached for TEDx events officially from the inside and I tell TEDx speakers because this is the dad thing and I always say it’s nothing. It’s nothing special.
I really think every presentation and talk should be like that. Really? That’s the goal. What do you think? It’s the key. If you, while you are rehearsing people, I’m sorry. I know maybe people don’t like to hear that, but rehearse your talks while you are rehearsing. Imagine friendly faces. Imagine something you would like to tell this to you because if you are addressing this to friends, to people that you love, you automatically change your delivery and I am that. I’m sitting here, I’m going to feel connected to you because you are changing. It’s, it’s a very, it’s a very typical acting trick. You think it’s her thoughts, everything you imagine it’s real. Let’s say public. The castle.
Victor Ahipene: I find it really often, I mean, when you get the kind of, the crossroads of, of acting and speaking is obviously there’s a lot of, a lot more memorization often and the acting side of things and you come across well yeah, if you’re on stage, you’ve got a script that you’re following. Um, yeah, I, I, yeah, I mean, I know TEDx events can be the same as well, but I mean, if you’re giving a 90 minute keynote presentation, you’re going off ideally more of a guideline than trying to memorize that 90 minutes. And I think, I think where I see a lot of people I’d be interested in your opinion is when they do try and memorize a speech, you know, when that, when they’re writing it down.
The horribleness of they’re trying to switch on two areas of the brain. They’re trying to be like, how can I act this out and how can I remember all the words? And then, you know, they freeze and then everything disappears. And Yeah, the words that disappeared and that just like a deer in headlights. But it’s, um, yeah. So I mean, what hi. I’d like to know what your thoughts on that and then be I guess the, what are the strategies that people can start looking natural looking, I guess their movements on stage and things like that. Yeah. Hand movements because I, you see people in that they’re having that cafe conversation whereas they should she’ll be having that Italian mom telling off her kids conversation when they’re onstage and um, yeah, the couple of questions there and I’d just love to get your insight with it.
Ariane de Melo: Memorizing thing. He will make it too complicated. It doesn’t have to be that complicated. As I said, I work a lot with TEDx speakers and it’s a tagged thing that you memorize your talk because tad wants to know exactly what are you going to say because Ted has a lot of roots. You’re not supposed to be religious, not supposed to be political and not supposed to do this and that and so they will upload to your talk. You need to follow the script that you sent them.
This is, this is the background, but I always say is the first thing is what you said is the right team. If you really do have to memorize something, you’re right for a speaker you write for, listen, there’s a not for readers. This is the first mistake everybody does. We ride too complicated because when we started writing, we start riding for people that are going to read us.
But that’s not the case. People are going to listen to us. So I always say you right. Either you write or you record it on the cell phone. Yup. And you’re just speak it out or you write it and you wrote, I dunno, a paragraph to then read it out loud. Respect your body. Does your mouth like words? Mostly your mouth is going to tell you that this is not right. This is not how you talk. This is a word that you would never use and a conversation if it’s formal or not. So this is something that everybody, please take care of you, right? For listeners. So you read it out loud. See if you’re really, if it’s flowing the way you were supposed to, if it’s not, delete the delete is your best friend. Second Card is, second part is learn how to read it.
There’s a system to learn how to read. For example, most people when they have a period on the sentence, we all go down with the boys and we go down with the voice and we forget to put the meaning into these words. So this is the important part. Learn how to read. So this is a very, very typical acting in hack. Once you learn how to read, you have the, you have the right into, I hate the word intonation, but you have the right intonation for it and the whole memorizing thing, it’s not as complicated as we think. Forget the words. Every single word is not that important. Important is that you get across the message that you want to get across. What at one tip from me is never learn? You’re taxed doing the same thing. For example, I’m seeing here, I have my texts in my hand and I’m memorizing, memorizing, memorizing it.
You won’t even realize that you are doing something like touching your hair or I dunno, touching a pen or something. And your body is learning to attach that tax to the things that you do. And once you get onstage and you’re doing something else, you forget the text. So to help your tax, to get into your long-term memory, so you will know what you’re saying. You won’t forget it or you won’t care if you’ll forget it. Do different things. So you have your tax a little bit, you learned a little bit, and then start doing different things. The dishes, laundry, going for a walk, doing every time to different things because your body is going to learn much faster than your mind and it’s going to trick you every time. If you don’t make that gesture that the body is waiting for, you’re going to forgive her the same. So don’t give your body that chance.
Victor Ahipene: Awesome. And you know from personal experience, I spoke at a TEDx event and it was so interesting afterwards catching up. I was oversight. I flew in for the event and so I hadn’t been to the live rehearsals or anything like that, but there was two of us who had, and it was just really interesting chatting afterwards because both of us never memorize if we’re giving speak and, and yeah, obviously we had to go through the TED probably and give them a transcript and then you know, you have to be like, listen rehearsal, otherwise we’ll cut you off the list and all those cool things. And it was just, it was so, I mean it was a great learning curve.
It was just so interesting because obviously they’ve got a brand to protect and they want quality. They want to know that, you know, because there was one guy that yeah, they should have cut from our event the day before and they had to basically put them on a, on a chair. So he’s sitting like a fireside talk so you can hold a book because he couldn’t memorize. He just, he was pure, I need lecture every day, but he hadn’t put the effort in. And a few of us were just talking how, how much more difficult it is when you are going, I mean obviously those hex or are perfect and we all go through them, but just that expeditiously harder to act. Yeah. Rather than that developing that natural presentation style. Um, and in between it, which was, you know, one lady I spoke to 5,000 people last week and this was 500 people and she’s like, this was exponentially harder. Um, because you know both of them, you know what you’re talking about. But she said I had 19 minutes Ted, I had 18 to convey the same message but a similar message. So yeah, it’s about being concise and yeah, everything, Yeah. Rather than that developing that natural presentation style. Um, and in between it, which was, you know, one lady I spoke to 5,000 people last week and this was 500 people and she’s like, this was exponentially harder.
Um, because you know both of them, you know what you’re talking about. But she said I had 19 minutes TED, I had 18 to convey the same message but a similar message. So yeah, it’s about being concise and yeah, everything.
Ariane de Melo: The 18 minutes are very challenging. Get your message across in this, it’s a little period of time, a short period of time. But what I see is the thing with the acting is acting. It’s becoming, so if you are for tending, if you have to do something, you’re not acting. I like to say that 89% of everybody doesn’t know what access do. And the other 11% are actors.
That is of course not a real statistic, but it’s sort of true because we consume actors work every day, but we don’t really know how they do that. Yeah. And I think that is pretending with think we’re playing all other people, but it’s not, it’s to get you to get to know yourself and how to find yourself inside of these situations. So that’s why it’s suitable for speakers. And that’s how I work with my speakers. The speakers I’ve worked with have presentations than majority. It’s not a talk like tad, they have their slides and they are talking about all the businesses. These are my clients. What I do is to go inside of their heads and help them be more natural and have more fun while being professional. And that’s what acting do. Acting does. Yep.
Victor Ahipene: With the, uh, and I want to make sure we delve on this because you’ve obviously having worked with a lot of Ted speakers and that a lot of it comes down to the ability to tell an effective story. Um, and that like, you know, you’re going to struggle to find too many talks that don’t, that had, had, had a big impact. They don’t have a good story behind them. Um, when it comes to storytelling, what do you think the key components that people should be looking at when they are crafting a story to the audience or, or either that or what do you think the biggest mistakes you see people doing when they’re trying to craft a story for any type of presentation?
Ariane de Melo: The biggest mistake that I see is that people with facts, fat, something that happened to me, it’s not a story. That story has a structure. A story has a beginning. It has, um, mill. It has a climax, it has conflict and it has a message. So it needs to have that structure. And of course, every single fact that we have, we lived in our lives can become a story, but it needs to be structured. So I see a lot of people calling themselves storyteller. And when I watched the videos, it’s not a story. It’s a fact. So this is something that it’s not happening a lot. I work from the acting perspective and I have my own system of creating presentations with my students, with my clients, and I always say add some other senses to it because on theater, everything you do, you need to verbalize because people cannot see what happened before.
They cannot see what happens outside of this house where the place is happening right now. So you need to verbalize everything. That’s what I do. We analyze, we analyze the story and we put sensors to it. That’s where observation comes. This is an act in hack. You learn how to observe your body to observe how you feel when you listen, when you hear and know, for example, when you’re angry, how does your body feel? So we verbalize some things like that to activate the imaginations in the audience in a stronger way. Yeah.
Victor Ahipene: I could feel that the heart beating out of my chest. Yeah. As I walked up to it or, yeah, I, I my, my hands started to clam up. Well, yeah, I could feel the sunshine on the back of my neck. And those are the things that people can like, I mean you’ve probably heard the saying that the effects talent story sell and it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter what kind of presentation you’re giving, you’re trying to sell a message, whether it’s a, you’re trying to get a credit card at the end of it all, you’re trying to get them create a movement. It’s that effects, you know, people get bored with facts because you’re just telling them and no one likes being told what do.
But yeah, if you can sell the idea and make people relate to you, I think it’s, yeah, it’s awesome. I love the way that you’ve described it as, you know, uh, you know, bringing this, bringing in the seats into that story. Because I think it’s, once you do that, you see like, like you said, you can, you can say less that you can say more in your story, but actually say, listen, your overall talk and it’s going to be way more impactful. It’s got to be way…
Ariane de Melo: Way more impactful because it’s something we really can create this in people’s minds. If I tell you now not to think of a pink elephant that comes to your mind, how I tell people, verbalize senses, verbalize the atmosphere. Why not air fields bring people inside of your story, like the old storytellers. The fairytale is storytellers. We can put this inside of your business message, in the stories of your everyday. Why not can be beautiful. It can be poetical stuff because it’s a regular day that he can be poetical and full of message.
Victor Ahipene: And that’s, that’s, I mean, I think that’s the, the K is, I hate it. I’m sure you do. When you go somewhere and you see someone who’s an expert in their particular area and they get up on stage and they just dropped, either drown you with information. They, uh, you know, use it as a audible auto biography of themselves and how great they are. And yeah, and they don’t tell a single story. They just, yeah, they tell you this and that and something that we’re either asking you. I’m like, Oh my God, you’ve got so much knowledge that no one’s going to really seriously. And I mean that’s, that’s the, the thing that I think that’s the key component of everything is if you can craft, craft and create a story, you’re going to be out of control. That narrative, you’re going to be able to control that. Like you say, the pink elephant, you know, you get to control the narrative of getting people’s minds doing what they’re going to do instead of them filling in the gaps and switching off and pulling out the phone and uh, and anything like that.
Ariane de Melo: And it’s a fun experience. It’s an experience for everybody, but you’re telling and for people, they’re able to imagine things and get a little away from, from today. And what happened yesterday and for an everyday life, that’s what TV shows and movies and novels and theater plays do for us. Why can’t a speaker do the same? At the end of the day, people with you, with whom you connect better are the people you want to work with. It doesn’t matter if you’re given a tattoo.
Victor Ahipene: Yeah, exactly. I think that’s a brilliant place to, to not drown everyone and, and, and too much information because if you can take those, yeah. The theatrical side of it into your talks and crafted and was a good story, you’re going to be so far ahead of most speakers that are going to step foot on stage. Uh, yeah. The, obviously you can start working on your vocals and things like that, but if you, I mean I think those, just those two insights and obviously the tips that you gave off them, they’re going to be hugely powerful for everyone out there listening.
So yeah, I challenge everyone out there to start implementing those two things. Looking at how you can naturally, yeah, put it on a performance within your, within your talks and how you can craft those stories and bring the sensors into them is, it will be super powerful. So I want to thank you a lot for that, but if people want to find out more about you, get in touch, where can they go and what can they do?
Ariane de Melo: Oh, I’m pretty much everywhere. You can find me on Instagram at the branding director you find in there, you can connect. Send me your friendship request on Facebook, Ariana de Mello. You can’t miss it. You feel the skin. It’s public speaking through acting and my Facebook page. I’m pretty much everywhere.
Victor Ahipene: Cool. So we’ll link all of that at publicspeakingblueprint.com and I appreciate you so much for this, and hopefully we’ll connect on another episode or even bitter in real life. And, uh, and, and then we’ll go from there. Thanks a lot.
Ariane de Melo: Thank you.