Actor Richard Burton

5 Easy Steps on How to make an Impact

Actor Richard Burton

How do you make this kind of impact in a crowd?

When Richard Burton, (RIP) was a young actor and was cast in the role of spear carrier in crowd scenes, his presence was so compelling that he stole the limelight from the actor playing the king.

When you meet people for the first time, how do you make sure they take notice of you, trust you, want to know you and recommend you to their friends?

There are all sorts of techniques that help people change their self-beliefs in order to become more confident.


People don’t see your beliefs.

They don’t know what you’re thinking.

They’re not aware of your emotions.

The only thing they notice is your BEHAVIOUR

For thousands of years, actors have been making us believe in them by displaying the BEHAVIOUR of the kind of person they want to portray.

What happens in their personal lives doesn’t affect their performance.

They are often insecure as individuals but still deliver great, believable performances.

They often do it eight times a week for hundreds of weeks with great consistency.

They can portray characters that are totally unlike themselves with enormous conviction.

How does this help an ordinary person who wishes to create an impact?

Easy! We can copy what the best actors do.

Five Easy Steps on How to Make an Impact

  1. Define the role you want to play, e.g. charismatic leader, honest salesperson, trustworthy consultant, creative designer, useful team player
  2. Define the qualities a person in this role displays, e.g. charm, authority, consideration, tact, etc.
  3. Take each quality and work out what you need DO with your body to show those qualities, e.g to display consideration you may need to show that you are actively listening. What does a person who is actively listening DO? They make eye contact, lean forward and nod.
    Repeat this process for each quality until you know exactly how to DO what a person in your chosen role would DO.
  4. Practice. Practice until you become your behaviour, until its stops being an act and becomes authentically you. (Physical actions trigger emotions and create beliefs)
  5. Be the best version of yourself that you want to be – consistently.

Do – Be – Have

When you DO the things you need to do to BE the person you want to be, the things you want to HAVE will  follow.

Burton played 136 performances of Hamlet over 18 weeks. The production grossed $1,250,000. It was the highest-grossing and almost certainly the most profitable presentation of the play in the USA, if not the world.

He was born the 12th child in a family of 13 children in a mining village in Wales. His mother died when he was 2 years old.

This post is inspired by a training session with Mark Doyle of  The Method

3 replies
  1. jonbuscall
    jonbuscall says:

    In many ways it’s all about going back to your target audience and working through the tactics you need to put into play to achieve your goals. That said, it’s much easier said than done. I think I’d step back a bit here and say identify the behaviour you need and then seek to produce that behaviour; however, if you can’t the element of self-awareness that comes into this kind of approach should help you find help or guidance to get you to where you want to be. 
    (One of my favourite radio plays is Burton reading Under Milkwood)

  2. AnnHawkins
    AnnHawkins says:

     @jonbuscall That’s really interesting Jon. I often talk to people about the difference between being self-conscious – shy or embarrassed and not usually desirable, and self-awareness which is so necessary in order to interact well with others. 
    Although this post is about physical presence I think your comment applies equally to making an impact in writing or audio. You have to decide on the relationship you want to create and who are you are to your audience. 

  3. AnnHawkins
    AnnHawkins says:

     @jonbuscall Forgot to say that I adore Burton reading Under Milkwood. He’s one of the few people who can ‘sound’ the phrase “The sloe black, slow black sea” 

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