Do you personalize and humanize your speeches – if not, why not? How we see ourselves shapes our lives. Granted, our life is also greatly influenced by our cultural context. Social scientists have long understood that people in various parts of the world see themselves differently.
For example, in some cultures, it is considered inappropriate or rude for someone to speak about themselves. But if you are going to talk about someone you know, in the Western, there is no better person to start with than yourself. When you personalize and humanize your stories and experiences, you will connect with your audiences with power, emotion, and conviction.
Stories that are personal, direct, and robust draw your audience to you and your experiences emotionally. Adding a human touch makes your stories more believable. We all use and sometimes overuse personal pronouns to give our story that personal touch.
Traditionally, they show us the grammatical person. In those pronouns, we see their gender and the case of the noun it replaces. However, other options are available to us than “I or you.” Those options include he, she, it, we, they, me, him, her, us, and them. They make our speeches easier on the ears of audiences.
Telling what you and your characters see and say goes a long way to personalizing the events you include in your speeches. Seek opportunities to describe what you and your characters observed in the scenes you develop. Give your characters a voice. Include dialogue as you tell your story and the story of others.
When you use personalization in your speeches, you can address specifics and details to humanize the scene you are creating. Be descriptive while giving your own firsthand independent account of what you saw, heard, and felt.
You must also draw intellectual responses from your audience to personalize and humanize your speech. Numbers and statistics give your audience the results. However, your audience wants to know the who, what, when, and how the results were produced. When your audience can see themselves in the characters and their struggles, they become real and down to earth.
As you develop your story and characters, focus on the point you are making. The lights turned on for me years ago when the 1990 World Champion of Public Speaking said in one of his workshops – “The secret to Public Speaking is you make a point then tell a story or tell a story to make a point.”
One sure way of making a solid connection with your audience in a personal way can be by using the stories of others. Their stories can serve as an endorsement from people who have benefited from using your ideas or services. When an experience was extraordinarily successful, why let it go to waste? Keep a file with those that are long and keep the short on your fingertips to respond in opportune moments. But it is best to speak on those topics you know well.
When you speak on topics you know, sharing your knowledge and passion with your audience is effortless. Even if you are knowledgeable about a topic, take time to do some research as you prepare. Then, you should feel confident and can address any questions about your subject matter arising from your presentation.
Being true to your stories to bring to the speaking platform is crucial. Sometimes, it may be possible only to tell part of a story in your allotted time. If it leaves too many unanswered questions in your audience’s mind, leave it for another speech. Sure, you can add to the truth, but you may have to subtract details.
However, when you choose a topic you know very well, you will find it easier to segue in and out effortlessly without distracting your audience. When you can switch in and out of those moments seamlessly, your audience will stay connected to you from start to finish. Remember that adage – persuade with reason and motivate with emotion.
Seek opportunities to insert appropriate SIMILIES; to compare two, unlike things. Personal ANECDOTES; short amusing or interesting stories. METAPHORS: words or phrases to suggest a likeness. And EXAMPLES where appropriate to clarify your content. Make it a final exercise during the editing process of your preparation.
The acronym SAME should help you remember those literary devices that can provide life and luster to your speeches and presentations. Choose your topics carefully. Ensure your inserts are short and relevant to the content or person featured in your story. Strike a balance when using all your pronouns and feature stores about yourself and others, and you will enjoy sharing your speeches and presentation with your audiences that are humanized and personalized.
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