BBC building | Media and Messaging Skills Training

The Actor’s Apprentice

Lord Sugar sees candidate benefit from drama presentation boost

Lord Sugar sees candidate benefit from drama presentation boost

The BBC’s The Apprentice finalist Courtney Wood was so terrified about having to present to 250 industry big wigs at London’s City Hall that he invested in some drama-led public speaking training to calm his nerves.

He also had millions of television viewers watching his performance so like an actor on stage he had to dig deep to engage his audience.

Courtney needed to convince Lord Sugar as well as the experts that his Purple Whale novelty gift business was worth a £250,000 investment.

A strong presentation was crucial to his pitch.

Courtney is undoubtedly a great designer and business person, but the feedback he had received time and again during the series was that he lacked charisma, energy and passion when talking about his ideas.

He is not unusual in this.

Standing up and speaking in front of strangers or people who can influence your future is not a natural thing to do.

Actors do it all the time of course, which is why they are asked to help business people improve their presentation skills.

Viewers of The Apprentice final would have seen examples of how acting techniques improved Courtney’s voice and body language and boosted his confidence. He was then able to convey his messages because he engaged his audience.

When we watch someone present we either find their enthusiasm about their product or service contagious or are turned off by their nervousness and dull style.

Ok, so Courtney didn’t win but even Lord Sugar's side-kick Karren Brady commented on how his presentation in the Final was a massive improvement on anything he had delivered before.

He used his ‘stage’ effectively because his voice and body language told the people watching that he had a story to tell, and they warmed to him.

To find out more about Hendrix Training’s unique actor-led presentation skills coaching please email us or call directors Lucy Morgans/Steve Hemsley 01892 519504.

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