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October 2015 IN THIS ISSUE:
1 Do you breathe life into your stories by using Dialogue?
2 District 48 Toastmaster Fall Conference (Florida)
3 Scroll down to pic taken with Roger Caesar, District 86 International Contest finalist
Do you know that STORY is the heart of a presentation?
Do you know that DIALOGUE is the heart of a story?
Do you know there are 3 kinds of dialogue?
Character to character dialogue Inner dialogue Audience dialogue
Florida's District 48 Fall Conference!
In FLORIDA and pleased to be giving a workshop for District 48's Fall Conference in Fort Myers; hope to see my Toastmaster friends there, and of course, my #1 mentor, Craig Valentine, as their world champion keynote speaker!
Quotations of the month:
"Don't retell your stories, re-live them!" - Mark Brown 1995 WCPS
"If you tell me, it’s an essay. If you show me, it’s a story."
- Barbara Greene
"Don’t say the old lady screamed; bring her on and let her scream."
- Mark Twain
Dialogue: the heart of a Story!
Speaker, Patricia Fripp says: "When you use no dialogue, you're really not telling a story, you're simply giving a report."
In other words, if you use continual 3rd person narrative format by 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..." your speeches will become too lengthy, impersonal and lacking life. The result: a bored, disengaged audience!
Try telling the story in the present where audience hears actual words spoken: "She ran up to us shouting: "I want to..." or "He said: I was so confused and wondered if..."
Do you see the difference between 3rd person narrative and use of 1st person with 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!!!
Dialogue can be used in 3 different ways:
- character to character
- inner dialogue
- audience dialogue
1. Character to Character Dialogue: is the most commonly used form of dialogue; it hypothetically brings another character into scenes of your stories and gives him/her a voice by stating their exact spoken words.
- have characters act and react to the particular situation of a scene with emotion and body language
- use speaker's or recipient's name so the audience is clear who is speaking and who is listening
- use the 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 character's reactions to events in a scene by both your and their exact words spoken and accompanying facial expressions
*******give BEST LINES to another character NOT TO YOU!*******
Please note: Step out of the scene and talk directly to your audience to make the point of your story.
2. Inner Dialogue: refers to YOUR own actual inner thoughts.
- let the audience into your mind by allowing them to hear your innermost thoughts and feelings before, during and after the process/lesson you experienced while resolving a problem, overcoming an obstacle, or arriving at an AHA moment at the solution stage
- speak from the heart, not head by going to the edge with your emotions but then return to the present self to centre yourself once again
- ensure your words, tone and body language are all in sync
3. Audience Dialogue: allows the audience themselves to have a voice and be heard by creating opportunities for audience to say/repeat/recap aloud main point(s)
- have them repeat something after you
- have them complete a sentence or phrase by shouting it out
- ask for the take away message
- have them discuss a point with a partner, then share with the group
Please note: When the audiences are involved, they are then more likely to buy into and remember your message. Greater interaction also results in deeper connection with them.
Why? Because as Craig Valentine says: "People buy into what they help create."
Another important note re using audience participation:
If you want them to take part orally, you must train them to do so early in the speech, otherwise they will not feel at ease participating.
Using dialogue is a wonderful opportunity for vocal variety and body language when demonstrating emotions with the exact words and phrases stated by characters; it's also a way to breathe life into our stories and uncover natural humour. Regardless of which dialogue you choose to use, the audience becomes mentally and emotionally involved and engaged, and want to journey with you throughout your entire speech!
Which forms of dialogue will you try to use so you can enhance your next speech or presentation?
Until then, successful speaking to you!
Individual Speech Coaching or Group Instruction
Feel free to get in touch with me if:
you're a toastmaster wanting a competitive edge over average speakers
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"Kathryn, you're an incredible coach and an inspirational person. I'm going to take a break from competitive speaking but when I start again I want you by my side again if you don't mind." Best Regards, Roger Caesar, District 86 International Contest Winner 2015
Kathryn MacKenzie, M.Ed. DTM
Presentation Skills Instructor/Author
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