"How Should I Tell Them..."           

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  • Narrative - Kind of a supplement to characterization device, and just like the scenario/narrative introduction previously mentioned.  It works; people naturally follow spoken narratives better than spoken persuasive ideological abstractions.  It clearly demonstrates the causal relationship (if any) in your material, while keeping the audience duly entertained.  Give it a shot sometime; you shan't be disappointed. 


  • "Applause Points" - It's helpful to plan in advance the reaction of an audience; most specifically, when they will react strongly with laughter or (depending upon the situation) applause, quiet consideration, etc.  I call any moment where the audience reacts strongly enough to be considered in the speech an "applause point."  It's a good idea to arrange these points regularly throughout the speech - if it goes too long without one, you may lose the audience.  Mix them up - laughter here, a pause for thought there - and leave time for the audience to use them.  But remember that applause points don't always work as planned - it's a good idea to test them, in the context of the entire speech, with a friend, teacher, or family member first.


  • Dashes - Okay, let's talk "speakable prose" versus "readable prose."  In readable prose, it's bad form to use a lot of dashes and semicolons, and you can't start sentences with "and" or "but."  Not so with speech!  In speaking, one very often wants to relate a sentence or clause with the preceding one, to form an audible progression in thought - such inflection-communicated associations are best expressed in the transcript through the use of dashes and semicolons.  (Note the use of the dash between those two sentences; speak the combination aloud and you'll see how it works!)  "And" and "but" are useful when you want to let an idea sink in with a pause and subsequently add to it (or contradict it) without losing it.  It works.  Look at all the times I've started sentences with these words in this guide; say them out loud and see how they work!


You've written a speech!  Now, how to present it... On we go, to Presentation Tips!