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Pointing Up Props

by Jim Snack


It's a tip I learned from my good friend Mimi Schultz, Artistic Director of the Fantasy Theater Factory of Miami, Florida (  Mimi used to teach at Ringling Brothers Clown College and this is a technique she taught to new performers.  It's an important showmanship technique for any presenter.

Any time you introduce a new object, for example, a book or other object related to your lesson, be sure to hold it in a manner that makes it easy for everyone in the room to see the object.  It sounds like common sense, but I often see presenters failing to do this one simple thing that can make their program better.

Next time you introduce an object to the audience, really "introduce" it, as if you were introducing your best friend.  Hold it up high with one hand, above your waist level so everyone can see the object.  Then look at it, and point to it with the other hand.

In show business, this is called pointing up the prop.

Watch Vanna White turn over a letter on the hit television show Wheel of Fortune.
She turns over the tile, looks at it, and then holds both hands up in a manner that frames the tile.

When you "point up" an object, you throw all your attention to it and direct all the audience's attention to it also.  This is good showmanship.

A good presenter controls and directs the audience's attention throughout their entire program, not letting it wander at any point, even during a simple act such as introducing a new prop.

Next time you take out a prop, take a moment to "point it up."



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