Diana Dresser, author
Practice in Your Presentation Shoes: Why Does it Matter?
Both your verbal and nonverbal communication are affected. When actors begin the rehearsal process for a play, one of the first questions they ask is, “when can I start working in my character’s shoes?” Typically, the costume designer will provide those shoes in the first week of rehearsal, so that the actor has at least three or four weeks to get used to moving in the new pair. This may seem silly or unnecessary – wouldn’t we rather traipse across the stage each day in our favorite running shoes? The ones that are so broken in and comfortable? Sure, that sounds great, but if you’ve ever seen a 5- year-old playing dress up, ankles wobbling in high heels, you can see that it isn’t that easy to step into your “performance” shoes without any practice. And we actually feel different in our casual shoes or bare feet. Always practice your speech or presentation in your “show” shoes, because the feel of the shoe and the height of the heel can change the way we move, stand, and feel, which can in turn affect our vocal production.