Patricia Fripp once said,
“People won’t remember what you say as much as they’ll remember what they see when you say it.”
Many speakers spend so much time preparing for what they’re going to say but so little time on how they’re going to get their audience to SEE the speech.
If you don’t use the stage effectively, your audience will not see your speech or experience it the way they should.
Here are 4 ideas you can use to make your speech more visible and hence more valuable.
Watch this Short-Story First
Watch this short 2-minute story before you read the 4 ideas below. Once you read the ideas, you may want to watch the story again to drive the ideas home.
Visible Idea #1: You must remember where you place everybody and everything onstage
Once this guy sits down next to me on the plane, I have to make sure he stays on that side of me for the entire story. Otherwise, my audience gets confused. So each time I talk to him, I turn my head to my right and each time he talks to me, I have him look to his left.
Keep in mind that your expressions often tell the story so you don’t want to turn so much that your audience can’t see your face. Perhaps you can turn closer to 45 degrees rather than 90.
Visible Idea #2: Use Transition Statements as you physically transition onstage
When I say “The first 4 and a half hours of this flight,” I actually subtly move from one part of the stage to another. Why? Because that symbolizes that we’ve traveled a bit of distance. After all, a plane doesn’t usually fly in one spot.
Visible Idea #3: Show It Before You Say It
Oftentimes it’s not the line of dialogue that makes the impact, it’s the look before and after the line that matters.
Remember, your audience is experiencing a story and they will remember what they see. When he looks at me and says, “How are you doing?!” I have to show my reaction on my face before I respond. Think “reaction before response.”
Reaction before response
When it comes to your line, it’s important to show it before you say it.
It’s the same when he says, “What do you want to do?” Instead of responding right away, I give a look of confusion before I verbalize my thought that, “Right now I want to change my seat.”
One last time, when he says, “I’m a professional speaker,” I SHOW my excitement before I say, “You are?!”
Visible Idea #4: Leave and Lean
At times, to bring the audience into the story and break up the dialogue, you can temporarily step out of your scene, lean into the audience, and ask them a question or check-in with them somehow. I like to call this the “Leave and Lean” method and it’s one I describe in my Dynamic Delivery Devices course.
I do this with the question, “How do people try to start a conversation with you on a flight?” Once I get my answer, I physically step back into scene and continue the story. This also helps to break-up dialogue that would otherwise go back and forth too many times.
Let’s say you send a great packaged gift to a friend and it never reaches him. How valuable would that package be to him? It’s the same with speaking. You can have the best content in the world, but, if the delivery does not reach your audience, there’s no value for them.
As you move forward, it’s a good idea to start focusing on ways to deliver your stories so that your audiences SEE your speech. A huge help is on the way.
Many of my home-study courses are in audio, which really helps with developing structure and content. However, on March 17th, you’ll be able to pick up The Secrets of Storytelling Course (with over 15 hours of video instruction from Darren LaCroix and me) that helps you get your audience to SEE your speech and step inside of your story so they can feel it too.
This course will make the difference between giving a speech and creating an unforgettable experience for your audience. If you want to become a speaker in high-demand, this course will be your game-changer. Stay tuned.
- When Telling a Story, A Speaker Must Commit to… - April 6, 2020
- A Strange Yet Highly-effective Way to Connect with Your Audience - March 31, 2020
- Storytelling Secret – How Narration and Dialogue Should Work Together - March 24, 2020