ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Speaking Tips: In Storytelling you are the visual aid

Updated on July 27, 2012

Sharing a wonderful moment

Tom standing on stage in front of the Titanic Centenary Banner, in the Ball Room at Blacktown Workers Club on Friday 13th Arpil 2012 - the Eve of the Centenary of that fateful night.
Tom standing on stage in front of the Titanic Centenary Banner, in the Ball Room at Blacktown Workers Club on Friday 13th Arpil 2012 - the Eve of the Centenary of that fateful night.

Get up there and communicate

Welcome to Speaking Tips: In Storytelling you are the visual aid.

Once again it becomes clear that to entertain with a speech the main thing is simply to get up there and communicate. The voice, the facial expressions, the body language come naturally to the speaker as the words are uttered, and the ‘whole person’ up there on stage speaking is communicating to the ‘whole person’ – be it a dozen or a thousand – who make up the audience. The words and the movements of the speaker are, if we’re doing it right, not even consciously acknowledged by our listeners. They are caught up in the atmosphere, the radiated energies as the messages being passed are interpreted by their minds and channeled into their hearts.

Some of the audience at the Titanic event

We, as the speaker, are the focus

What I’m saying here is that we don’t need gimmicks. We don’t need flashing lights and pictures that move on screens in the background. We, as the speaker, are the focus of the audience and, if we’re doing it right, after that introduction when they size us up and approve of us as creditable in those first few critical ninety seconds or so, they start to listen. They pay real attention. In the listening, we should all but disappear as the audience begins to automatically formulate the pictures we are creating with our words in their minds.

Our words in their minds

I believe I was able to engender the forming of such pictures and to generate the emotions which sprang from them when I presented a recent talk: Titanic – a Night to Remember, before an audience of over a hundred and fifty people as I spoke of the birth, building, and the eventual tragedy of this greatest of all ships sinking on her maiden voyage.

Microphone in hand, Tom blasts on an imaginary foghorn of that great 46,000 ton liner

Imaginary dialogue, sound effects - all add to the visualization process.
Imaginary dialogue, sound effects - all add to the visualization process.

Success is the feeling in ones heart

How does one know this? Well, it is a combination of many things: the attention of the audience, no whispering, no fidgeting or moving around, silence. It comes from that period of silence when one utters ones final words and takes that a step back to signal completion. It comes from the enthusiasm of the applause. It comes from the smiling faces and the handshakes along with verbal feedback from many of those who were in the audience. But it comes most of all from a feeling in one’s own heart that it went well – really well. And this is a feeling hard to describe. This is what all speakers relish.

Another view of part of the audience - a wonderful evening

A big room for a big night.  Over 150 people, many wearing 1912 period costume, all this added to the atmosphere.
A big room for a big night. Over 150 people, many wearing 1912 period costume, all this added to the atmosphere.

Stories are much easier to bring pictures in the mind of the listener

Of course, Titanic – a Night to Remember was not so much a speech as a story. Stories are much easier to bring pictures into the mind of a listener; hence I exhort any who wish to present well to use stories wherever they can. Also, in the telling of them, to use the techniques which make stories easier to visualize. Keep away from the abstract: use the concrete expression, short, commonly understood words. Use dialogue between different people as if in conversation. In effect, at times, one is an actor playing several parts, and then a narrator moving the story along.

Another round of applause as Tom comes down from the stage

Allan Davies, MC, draws again the audience's attention to the man who told the story.
Allan Davies, MC, draws again the audience's attention to the man who told the story.

Keep to being what you are

Do not recourse to showing statistics on a screen, holing notes, trotting at a model, or picking up something to show the audience. That will break their flow of imaginings, the unfolding picture story in their minds. Keep to being what you are: the speaker, the presenter, the storyteller. Do this, and you will reach deeper into the hearts and minds of your audience than you can in any other way. And they will remember. They will remember the story you told them long after those statistics have faded into oblivion.

Comments

Submit a Comment

  • Paradise7 profile image

    Paradise7 

    6 years ago from Upstate New York

    Good article. Sometimes public speakers with a lot to offer, a lot to share, forget the visual impression they make, to the detriment of their speech.

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)