FACTS only TELL, but SUPERB STORIES SELL because people buy into your message and are moved to action only when they are engaged both intellectually and emotionally!
Dialogue can be used in 3 different ways:
- character to character
- inner dialogue
- audience dialogue
This month we'll discuss how to breathe life into your stories by using characters and their dialogue. Character to character dialogue which hypothetically brings characters in a scene and gives them voices stating their actual words.
When we tell stories using 3rd person narrative format by always telling stories in the past, as in:
"She ran up and shouted to us that she wanted to... " or
"He told me that he was confused and wondered if he could...." or
"The athletic leader trained his team by telling the guys that they needed to..."
...your speeches will become too lengthy, impersonal, sounding like an article or report and lacking life. The result: a bored, disengaged audience!
On the other hand, when we tell stories using character to character dialogue where audience hears actual words spoken by characters, as in:
"She ran up to us shouting: " Listen to me, I want to..." or
"He sadly stated: "I am so confused and wonder if I could ..." or
"The athletic leader trained his team by saying: "Hey guys, we need to..."
This is the difference between the use of 3rd person narrative and 1st person dialogue.
Balance narrative with dialogue in your stories
and the result will be an interested, connected, engaged audience!
WARNING: Too much narrative is a report!!! Too much dialogue is a play!!!
HOW TO DO THIS:
- create a situation/scene where relatable characters act and react with emotion and body language
- place this scene in a specific spot on the stage
- use speaker's or recipient's name occasionally so the audience is clear who is speaking and who is listening
- use vocabulary normally used by the real character i.e., age appropriate, personality appropriate
- create a slight deviation from your normal voice for character differentiation
- uncover humour through characters' reactions to events in the scene by shoeing their facial expressions (the visual) followed by the words (the verbal)
*******give BEST LINES to another character NOT TO YOU!*******
(then they won't perceive you as a guru, the source of wisdom, and be turned off by your know-it-all attitude!)
Finally, to make your point of the story to the audience, step out of the scene and talk directly to your audience in a slower lower voice, stating your brief message/lesson and call to action, or a question for them to ponder abdout the story's message.