In a previous post I said I would write a couple of tips on good storytelling. Here’s the third of three.
Facial expressions, body gestures, and vocal tone add character to telling a tale. However, the size of an audience dictates the amount of body language you might use in your account of a story. With a large audience distance can be a problem. So what can you do? Pulling out a power point is not the answer if that’s what you were thinking. Short of jumping up and down, with arms waving frantically to keep an audiences attention, the other choice is vocal animation combined with those carefully chosen words that I talked about in a previous post.
Combine your words in ways that perhaps your audience has never heard them before. Think about giving your words certain tones and pitches. Enunciate your words to match their meaning. Volume is your best friend and inserting a whispering sentence to a large audience while bending forward just a little adds an unexpected dynamic to your presentation. Of course it should be appropriate to your content. I use this technique almost every time I am public speaking. You have to give it a try. It’s so much fun to watch your audience lean forward and even sit up straighter in their seats. Use a rhythmic cadence and change it up. That adds more color in your words. Don’t forget that silence is a beautiful thing. Add pauses or even stop in mid-sentence. Animation engages and mesmerizes your audience. It may even get you a standing O!