Make a Point – Tell a Story

What’s Your Story

20190426_212008In the world of public speaking, tell a story to make a point or make a point by telling a story, is a well-known secret that has helped many speakers with their development, however, how you tell that story will often determine if your audience gets the point.

The story you chose to tell must have left a significant impression on you when you first heard it. Perhaps it made you happy, sad, angry, surprised or even disgusted. You may have also learned a very important life lesson from that story. Whatever it was that made you choose that particular story to make it worth repeating, to make your point has to be rediscovered if you want that story to have a similar effect on your audience.

You may have heard that story three days, three months or even three years ago. However long ago you hear that story, it must have left a profound impression on your life. The challenge is for you to share what you learned with your audience. If you can get your audience to want to take some significant action at the end of your talk, speech or presentation, then you and your story have made your point.

What’s your story? As you tell your story, try to focus on giving your audience that same experience you had when you first heard your story. As you tell that story try to transport your audience to that time and place when you had your experience. Take your audience with you to relive the experience. Take them on that emotional journey you had with word pictures as only you can recall.

Our lives are the sum total of the stories and experiences, we have lived, relived told and retold. When we make a point by telling our stories, or tell our stories to make a point, we are sharing some of the most intimate and unforgettable experiences we have, heard, seen and felt in our lifetime. By sharing those experiences, you are letting your audiences know who or what we truly are not only as a speaker but also as a person.

Impromptu Speaking

Good speakers know how to Listen

Giving a speech without preparation is challenging. Mark Twain, one of the most celebrated American novelist and essayist, on more than one occasion has admitted, off-the-cuff speaking wasn’t as easy as he made it appear to be. Continue reading “Impromptu Speaking”

Humor Speech Writing & Delivery

Add Humor to Every Speech You Deliver

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1. People remember what they “see” in their minds. Keep that in your mind as you craft your opening. Craft your setup and followup with your punch line.

2. Begin with a Strong Opening with a theme that would resonate through the speech from the beginning to the end. – The scarlet ribbon effect.

3. Make the opening your Premise or theme of the speech – make it the foundation on which the speech is built.

4. Check your I to You- Ratio – Try to find a balance between the use of I and you.

5. We have experiences in our every day that are stories waiting to be told. In your everyday human experiences, you will find some of your best stories. Use them.

6. Use humor in your speech to make a point. Make a point, tell a story or tell a story to make a point. If the point can make your audience laugh, then you made your point.

7. Use follow-up lines (tagging) to provoke additional laughter or if laughter doesn’t follow what you thought maybe a funny line, tag it.

8. The punch-line is simply changing the expectations of your audience. Take your audience in an unexpected direction.

9. Don’t confuse your audience. A confused mind does not laugh. D. LaCroix.

10. Observe ordinary facets of life. With the right amount of observations, it can become your humor gold mine. Keep and maintain your own story file

USE SPEECH BRIGHTENERS TO CREATE HUMOR

A Speech Brightener is a passing humorous reference or an extraneous observation woven into the main body of a speech or remark in such a way that it doesn’t interrupt the continuity of thought.  A speech brightener differs from a joke in many respects. A speech brightener goes with the flow of the speech to emphasize the point the speaker is seeking to make. If the speaker says in his or her opinion something is foolish, they might add that it is as foolish as ……. and select a suitable analogy to emphasize his or her point that would introduce some welcome humor into the remarks. Usually, a speech brightener is fast and would normally catch your audience by surprise. It is a well know fact that surprise is one of the most important elements of humor.  Here are a few examples:

I am the kind of person or He is the kind of person or She is the kind of person

Who is often called a cynic –  I think other people are as bad as I am. 

Who may not always be right – but I am never wrong. 

Who believes nothing is impossible – if I don’t have to do it myself.

Develop your own speech brighteners. Use them especially in “table topics”. Your audience may see you as a kind of person who has more than meets the IQ.

COMPARISONS also make excellent speech brighteners: Here are some more starters: As  BAD As – As GOOD As –  As CONVINCING As – As FOOLISH As.….

 

10 Tips to Control Nervousness

A Prepared Speaker Should Never be Nervous:-Dr. R. Smedley

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Feeling some nervousness before speaking to any audience is natural and even healthy if you can channel that nervousness.  Some nervous energy can show that you are passionate and care about what you are presenting to your audience. Too much nervousness will detract from your performance.  Your physical preparation is a very important part of your Preparation and Practice.

10 Tips you can use to control your nervousness.

  1. Know The Room: Become familiar with the speaking are before you are called to speak. The view from the speaking are is quite different from the audience view or the view from the back of the room.
  2. Know You Audience: Meet and if possible greet some of your audience as they arrive. This can help you connect with them as you look out into the audience.
  3. Know Your Material: In the words of Dr. Ralph C Smedley “ A prepared speaker should not be nervous”. Nervousness will increase if you don’t know your material.
  4. Relax: Get on your feet, stretch a bit before taking to the stage.
  5. Visualize yourself giving your speech: Harbor positive thoughts. Visualize yourself being successful and you will be successful.
  6. Think Positive: Audiences don’t want you to fail. Smile and they will smile back at you.
  7. Don’t apologize: Don’t call attention to any of your slipups. Those slipups may very well have gone unnoticed.
  8. Focus on the message: When you focus on the message, your attention moves from your anxieties outwardly towards your message and your audience.
  9. Turn nervousness into positive energy: Add vitality and enthusiasm to harness your nervous energy.
  10. Gain Experience. Experience Builds confidence: Grasp every opportunity you get to SPEAK. Grasp every opportunity you get to EVALUATE. That is the key to becoming a better speaker.

How to Keep Your Audience Engaged

Record & Listen to Your Voice

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Do You Know The Sound of Your Voice

Tips on How to Keep Your Audience Engaged

Keeping your audience all begins with the sound of your voice. If you do not have any variety in your voice, you run the risk of sending your listeners to sleep. Your speech content may be excellent. It could match your audience’s needs very well but unless you deliver it in an interesting way, few people will actively listen.   A one-flavor-fits-all voice is boring. It turns people off. An expressive energized voice keeps them tuned in. Vocal Variety is very important when presenting. Record and listen to your voice.

What is Vocal Variety:

Vocal variety refers to the way we use our voice. It is a combination of the following elements: pitch, tone, volume, and rate. They are all equally important.

Pitch:

To understand pitch, think of the high notes and low notes you use when you are singing a song.  Everyone’s voice has a natural pitch – your natural speaking voice. Women’s tend to be higher than men’s. Everybody has a pitch range – the number of we notes habitually use. When that range is very small, the effect is monotonous.

Tone:

Tone refers to the emotional content carried by our voices. It is not the words themselves; it is more about ‘how’ we say them. To speak expressively is to fill or energize our words appropriately.

Volume:

How loudly or quietly you speak is called volume. Some people are habitually loud and others quiet, regardless of their speech content. Vary your volume as you speak. Think of it as if you are consciously playing with the volume control on a device. Silence is also very important. Silence sends the message. (DBrooks)

Rate:

The term ‘rate’ refers to speaking pace. How fast or slow do you speak? Speaking rate matters because how fast or how slow you speak alters the listener’s perception of your topic.

Exercises:

The more you can relax and enjoy playing with voice exercises which you can find online, the more you will get out of them. If you have a recorder, use it. Often what we think we are doing with your voice is very different from the reality. A recorder helps you hear where you need to put in more work to achieve your goals.