Category: Film

Art & Business

Art and Business – An Interesting Relationship

Art and Business are polar opposites right? Making money surely has nothing to do with a purely artistic endeavour?

At Dynamic Presenting, we believe there is a much closer relationship between art and business than perhaps many would readily accept. Of course everyone knows that art is a huge business, epitomised by characters such as artist/entrepreneur Damian Hirst who has arguably made making money his principal art form much like the average hedge fund manager does. And after all, hedge fund managers have been most keen to acquire the type of conspicuous, seemingly over-priced art that Hirst has produced.

Learning From each Other…

We would go further – art and business can and should learn a lot from each other. Theatre companies, actors, writers, painters, sculptors, stand up comedians, dancers, film makers… et al could all further their respective causes by observing business people. Artists could learn a lot about organising their work, finances, marketing, setting goals etc. Similarly corporate folk most used to using the logical and strategic quadrants of the brain could through improvisation and artistic freedom learn to innovate and think differently – how often do we read business articles where company heads bemoan the lack of innovation in their ranks?

Dynamic Presenting aims to build a bridge between art and business in order to nurture healthy dialogue between them. We adapt exercises from theatre rehearsals in order to energise and develop the presentations, pitches, speeches and communication of business leaders.

Ajaz Ahmed makes some interesting points in his Guardian article about the sometimes uneasy overlap between art and business

Sartaj Garewal is the founder of Dynamic Presenting – a creative, leadership development consultancy, adapting theatre training to create leadership programs for business.

Dynamic Presenting – Enabling Powerful Communication

Leadership lessons film set

Leadership Lessons Learned from the Film Set….

Posted on 12th February 2013 in Film, Leadership Development

Leadership and all its attendant skills are perhaps the only role for the director on set. Everybody else from actors to crew to production assistants tends to have a pretty clear view of what they need to do and in a sense if th director wasn’t there they would all do their jobs with professionalism and aplomb. But the director is the one withe vision – quite literally in regards to a movie  and acts as the hub or conductor of the orchestra. Decisions have o made constantly and quickly by the director as the buck stops with them. Filming is a precarious, fraught, edgy business with many pitfalls, status games and consequent ongoing learning for all involved.

Film Director as Leader

Succinct, practical tips about film making and leadership from Nigel Cole, a TV and film director. Life on a film set can be pressurised with everyone looking to the director for decision after decision. Actors, cameraman, designer, script supervisor, 1st assistant director, make up…. etc. Everyone takes their leadership from the director. Yet a truly respected and supposedly talented director will not simply issue commands but will know how to communicate with and motivate those around him on set so that everyone’s creative talents are unleashed for the creative benefit of the film.

Truly effective leadership is called for on set to maximise the talents of everybody present. Understanding when to kick and when to stroke, as a theatre director once told me is the nub of the talent. In essence actors will give a good performance, the crew will do their roles with aplomb… In a way the director is the only person without a very specific role to perform.

Authoritarian Leadership

Clearly parallels exist with any other form of leadership where instant decision-making is needed. The age of the authoritative business leader, with some exceptions, seems to be largely over. Similarly, the film director who barks at his minions in a vain attempt to establish status and authority, is now a rare presence.

There is never enough time, budget or people to quite pull off the movie you wanted to or had in your mind’s eye when first imagining the finished film. The phrase “T’was ever thus” springs to mind. Business life is exactly the same. Leadership is routinely faced with competing demands, lack of resources, people management issues…

Sartaj Garewal is the founder of Dynamic Presenting – a creative, leadership development consultancy, adapting theatre training to create leadership programs for business.

Dynamic Presenting – Enabling Powerful Communication


Fear of Public Speaking – The King’s Speech

Whatever your misgivings about public speaking, spare a thought for poor old George VI.  He was a highly private man called to a highly public role during one of the most tumultuous periods in modern history.  George spent his young years in the shadow of his glamorous elder brother Edward until he was crowned king in 1936.

The nascent technology of wireless radio had forced new responsibilities on to the King.  Before he had been expected to address occasional select gatherings of worthies and notables, now he was expected to address the nation.

Weight of Expectation

When called upon to address even a small room full of people, many of us feel the weight of expectation sitting on our shoulders and the terrible dread that we might mess things up in front of an audience. This is quite literally the stuff of nightmares: to be exposed in front of our colleagues as not quite up to it. With this mind it is little surprise that many people do everything they can to avoid any public speaking engagements. However, as we journey through our careers becoming more senior, the prospect of giving presentations and speeches increases considerably.

If it’s possible to get that worked up about a small presentation, one must suppose that George’s anxieties were of a different order given that he had to address the British public on the subject of war, a task made infinitely more gruelling by the fact that he had a stammer. This would seem to be fate demonstrating quite clearly that if nothing else, she has a sense of humour; our first war-time monarch of the broadcast age had a stammer!

Tackling the Fear

If you have seen Tom Hooper’s excellent ‘The King’s Speech’, you will of course know all of this already and without wishing to spoil the film for anyone yet to see it and do see it – it’s terrific,George VI tackles his fear of public speaking by consulting a speech therapist, Mr Logue, who turns out not to be a doctor but an actor. While the King is initially horrified to discover the man he thought to be a nice respectable doctor is in fact a member of one of the least reputable professions going, the acting profession, he is won around eventually. 

You may find your mind wandering down the same tracks as the King’s and wonder to yourself what possible use an actor could be. Well an actor’s job is to connect with audiences, if you’ve ever been to the theatre or cinema and found yourself captivated by a performance then you know what I’m talking about.  As Mr. Logue demonstrates in The King’s Speech, the skills actors use can be taught, even to someone as unprepossessing and in the grip of public speaking fear as George VI.

Dynamic Presenting

That in a nutshell is the whole point of Dynamic Presenting, to analyse your style of presentation, pitching and public speaking to locate weak spots and to help supplement these with skills and techniques which have stood the test of time.  So if you want a consultation fit for a King, even if your problems aren’t quite on the same scale as George VI’s, drop us a line and we’ll start with a chat…

Sartaj Garewal is the founder of Dynamic Presenting – a creative, leadership development consultancy, adapting theatre training to create leadership programs for business.

Dynamic Presenting – Enabling Powerful Communication