Making the right impression

'YOU NEVER get a second chance to make a first impression.' Sounds familiar? Of course, but how many of us are conscious of this when meeting someone for the first time? According to Manu Jose, a theatre artist and professional story-teller from Kerala,

By Ambica Sachin (Staff Reporter)

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Published: Wed 1 Aug 2007, 11:21 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 11:50 PM

most people are unaware that they are part of an invisible theatre called life - a world where everyone playacts according to the situation and the kind of people they have to interact with.

For instance the way you behave with your boss will be different from the way you behave with your friend or even your spouse, he points out. And it is only when people realise this aspect of their life, that they can be effective communicators. It was partly to meet this need that Manu started conducting theatre workshops where participants were taught through various activities to communicate more effectively with each other.

"The world nowadays is very competitive. Your posture, your voice modulation, the way you dress, your gestures - everything about you in fact has to be just right for you to make a good and lasting impression on people," asserts Manu. Initially many were wary of joining an 'acting class', claiming that they didn't want to 'learn to act'. But what they don't realise, points out Manu, is that acting is a part of everyone's life.

"If you understand your body, and your voice, you can 'manipulate' them and thus be more effective in your invisible theatre," Manu says. As part of the workshop, participants are made to undergo various physical and vocal exercises. They are taught voice modulation - how to project your voice from deep within, so that it has a good throw. Manu points out that if you breathe from your stomach - like babies do- then you are less likely to tire yourself out. This can be of benefit to professionals like teachers who need to use their voice all the time.

Besides conducting theatre workshops, Manu is also a professional story-teller of repute. For many Malayali expatriates living in the Gulf, Manu's is a familiar face - as the host of Asianet's children's programme 'Chirakukal', he has taught many a child to speak his native tongue.

"Even today I have parents coming up to me and saying their child learnt to speak Malayalam because of me. And that makes all this really worth while," Manu confesses.

Manu Jose is currently conducting workshops in Abu Dhabi for children as well as adults as part of KSC's (Kerala Social Centre) Summer Classes.

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