In this post, taken from my #1 bestselling book “Public Speaking MASTERY: How to Be Twice the Speaker in Half the Time“, you will discover a tip to make your speech come alive.
Use Imagery to Make Your Presentation Visual
A speech should be like a movie: You should be able to see the images and hear the sounds.
In his winning speech, “Ouch”, World Champion speaker Darren LaCroix begins his speech in the following manner:
Can you remember a moment when a brilliant idea flashed into your head?… it was perfect for you,… then all of a sudden from the depths of your brain another thought forced its way through the enthusiasm until finally it shouted, “YEAH great idea, but what if you…fall on your face?”
Darren makes brilliant use of imagery to make his speech visual.
Paint a Picture
For example, consider the phrase, “another thought forced its way through the enthusiasm.”
This phrase paints a picture of a thought trying to squeeze its way through a very tight space. The imagery makes the speech come alive.
Furthermore, we also have the auditory element of the idea shouting, “YEAH, great idea … ”
As a result of the visual and auditory aspects of the opening, the speech becomes a movie in the audience’s mind, and the audience members can see and hear the negative idea squeezing and shouting.
Okay, now consider the following two openings.
Opening #1: Poor, “I-Focused” Opening
“I remember when I had a brilliant idea. It was perfect for me, until I had another negative thought which took away my enthusiasm.”
Opening #2: Powerful, Visual, “You-Focused” Opening
Can you remember a moment when a brilliant idea flashed into your head?… it was perfect for you… then all of a sudden from the depths of your brain another thought forced its way through the enthusiasm until finally it shouted, “YEAH great idea, but what if you… fall on your face?”
Now that you’ve considered the difference between an average opening and a brilliant opening, take 30 seconds to pick out all the visual words and phrases that Darren uses in his opening.
Spot the Visual Words
What visual words and phrases can you spot in Darren’s opening?
Got them all?
Here’s my list:
- …idea flashed into your head
- …From the depths of your brain…
- …Forced its way through the enthusiasm
- …until it finally shouted, “YEAH, great idea…”
- …What if you…fall on your face?
Whoa! That’s a lot of visual words and phrases for such a short opening, which is one of the reasons that this is such a powerful opening.
So here’s the key takeaway lesson from Darren’s opening: For your next speech, use visual words to paint a picture in your audience’s minds.
It’s a Process
There is, also, another powerful lesson to be learned. Darren’s brilliant opening was not developed overnight. It took lots of editing, re-editing and refining. Darren examined and re-examined every word. It’s a painstaking, time-consuming process … but if you put in the effort, the payoff is worth it.
Spend Time Working on Your Opening
If you want to create a brilliant opening, you need to spend time editing your opening and examining your word choices. Spend time working on your opening, and your opening will work for you.
Recommended Resource for Achieving Public Speaking Mastery
If you would like more great tools and tips on how to achieve public speaking mastery, then check out my book “Public Speaking Mastery: How to Become Twice the Speaker in Half the Time” – available for immediate download from Amazon for less than the price of a cup of coffee!