Generally speaking, whenever an actor goes into a scene, you want them to have an “intention.”
A simple example could be a fairly straight forward dialog that you want to make more dynamic. Instead of two people sitting and talking, you could decide that Anna really wants John to sit down, but John absolutely wants to stay standing.
Take this further in a situation with conflict: A superior delivers criticism to an employee. Is their intention to:
The same lines, delivered with each of these intentions, would sound entirely different.
You can use this in your own life! If you are about to have an argument with your partner, your intention might be “to find a solution”, “to listen” or, whether conscious or subconscious, “to make them feel bad.”
When you’re meeting a friend, do you want to… impress them? Make them feel loved? Motivate them? Encourage them? It will shape the interaction.
I find this incredibly useful when pitching or selling, too: Instead of trying to “promote”, I try to “educate”: Here is a thing you didn’t know about that you might find useful. While the words you say will stay the same, the new intention changes your tone, and the energy you express will feel confident instead of nervous.