Public Speaking Tip On Telling Stories From The Paper

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Here is a great tip on how to make stories come alive when giving a speech.

A few speakers have discovered that substituting, through creative thinking, persons they really know for characters in a story helps make those characters more realistic and vivid for listeners.
Take the story of Fats for example. Most likely you already know at least one Five-by-five, don’t you?
Is he called Charlie, Jack, Tubby, Buster, Bill? In your thoughts observe him at length. Hear him talk, see him walk. Sense his character as totally as possible. Next as you talk about Fat Samples keep visualizing your Buster.
Good-by, Buster. Look at you parking cars in Atlanta.
And who couldn’t see the attractive Maxine on Mental Television? 120 delicious pounds, nicely curved and packaged. A dazzling, brown-eyed, honey-combed, Atlanta peach.
Perhaps she is the girl across the street. Or somebody you knew once . . . Britney . . .. Jean . . . Cheryl . . . Penelope?
Next by means of imagination, the public speaker senses the situation as Cupid fires his arrows. As he visualizes and feels as vividly as he can while he discusses Fats and Maxine, the story “is brought to life” for him and for his listeners.
Obviously the theory would be the identical for any other story.
A speaker ought to change a published story in his own words, not like a formal composition or perhaps a legal document, but just like a person would really talk to a buddy over a backyard wall. A successful public speaker makes his stories live by showing them in natural talking-pictures of living;
Observe this story which was told by Tom, a freshman in a university speech course:
Last week I was surprised to get a ‘phone call from one of the most popular girls on the campus.
She invited me to take her to a big party – a campus affair.
I ran out and bought her a fifteen dollar orchid.
And when we got to the party she asked me if I knew why she had wanted me to bring her.
I told her I didn’t know.
Then she said it was because she had been going with two fellows and didn’t want to ask either of them for fear of hurting their feelings.
“Where I came from they’d call me the ‘fall guy’ in this situation,” I said.
“Oh, don’t feel that way about it, Butch,” she replied.
Then she said, “Your orchid is nice, Butch, but it is rather small.”
Small! A fifty dollar orchid small?
I had a miserable time that evening.
Then, when I took her home, I looked at my watch and exclaimed, “Oh, it’s past twelve o’clock, and I promised my wife I’d be home before midnight!”

In my next post I’ll speak about the point of story and compare it with other ways to tell this story. If you want to learn to speak with confidence check out our free e course by entering your details in the box to the right.

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