The Cult of Colman

Medium shot of an actor performing a monologue in a theater while holding his script

America knows Olivia Colman from three standout roles; as Queen Anne in The Favourite, Angela Burr in The Night Manager, and now as Queen Elizabeth in The Crown. But her body of work is extraordinary. Not only is she a Dame Commander (CBE) but an Oscar, Golden Globe, and Bafta award winner. And with The Crown, Colman is now an international star.

Colman’s gift is focusing on the work and a lack of pretense. She disappears into a character and doesn’t worry about what the critics write, or her image. Colman gained thirty-five pounds for Queen Anne and did The Night Manager while very pregnant. She features the script and her character, rather than shining a light on her acting ability.

This is the secret sauce for presenters. Motivational speaker types stride around the stage, featuring themselves. What they project is that without this over-caffeinated approach, they’ll be dull. Other speakers worry about how they’ll be perceived, which leads to self-monitoring and an overly cautious delivery-- a luxury that speakers can’t afford. Commit to your material. Be excited about sharing your unique approach. And focus on genuinely connecting with your audience. Then speak as often and wherever you can. Like Colman, you’ll reap the rewards.

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