You have put together your speech. You’ve put in the practice. You have your props and your motions down. But you still don’t have enough WOW in your speech or presentation. What can you do?
If you examined your speech again, would you find that it is all narration? Most people will narrate a story. But if you want to add the greatest impact to a story, tell it as if you were the characters.
For example, you might tell a story like this:
I asked my wife how she was feeling. She told me she was feeling a little tired but ok. So I suggested that she lay down for a little while. At this point she was supposed to say that she would be fine as she was, but decided to accept my offer. She’s not supposed to accept my offer.
So what would the non-narrated version sound like:
I asked my wife, “How are you feeling?”
She said, “Tired, but I’m Ok.”
“Why don’t you go lay down for a little while.”
At this point, she’s SUPPOSED to say, “No, thank you. I’m fine.” But she DIDN’T. Instead she said, “Ok.” “OK!?!” She not’s supposed to say, “OK.”
It’s even better when you use different tones for characters. If you had heard this story told, you would notice that I changed my tone slightly from me to my wife. I even sounded a little surprised and upset when I relayed the “Ok” that my wife ended with.
Dialog instead of narration can do wonders when it comes to putting some impact in your presentation. It even allows you to act out some of the strong emotions from the conversation that allows you to tap into the emotional connection with your audience.
Want to know about another great technique that will add to dialog?
My family and I, at the Erie Playhouse, today attended “Around The World In Eighty Days”. Thank you, Hagmaier family! It was a wonderful performance by the Erie Playhouse Youtheatre. In it, there was one scene in which Capt Fix tricked Jean Passepartout into going hunting and killing a cow… in India! (By the way, Cows are sacred in India) It ended with Passepartout running scared and screaming from a furious Indian mob.
In two following scenes, Passepartout refers to Capt Fix as… (I will try my best to create the visual here) “Mister (holds an imaginary rifle up to his eye) BANG!, MOOO! (falls to his knees and grabs his chest to imitate dying), Screaming!!!! (with arms in waving in the air and runs in a circle)”
I can only imagine what that must sound like without you being able to see it. I wish you could see “Mr. BANG! MOOOooooo… EEEEEEK!” It was performed by an actor age 15-17 and it couldn’t have been done with more humor, while effectively summing up the complete scene. It was a callback that kept reminding us of an important part of the story. Each time in a way that would have you rolling in the aisles.
Imagine in your presentation… you’ve just introduced the main problem that your product, service, or process will address. You want them to remember it because it is the reason your solution will be adopted. What better way than to reinforce it than with a powerful, concise. and vivid reenactment of the story that introduced it.
If you don’t want your next visit to be like Mr. BANG! MOOOOoo… EEEEK!, remember to check with us for the latest customs and trends before your next international vacation.
Can you think of a way you can use dialog and this technique to improve one of your presentations?