When is the last time you sat through a truly memorable presentation? I’m talking about a speech with bold ideas and powerful emotions. One that was movingly delivered, and with a clear (and exciting) sense that the topic really mattered.
Perhaps you’ve seldomed experienced a presentation like that. If you have, the odds are excellent that you'd remember it easiliy now.
"Where Does the Drama Exist?"
If you want to be an exciting speaker, ask yourself this question as you conceive your speeches and presentations: "Where does the drama exist?" Drama, like storytelling, moves audiences swiftly and compellingly. Speeches with drama deal with human beings at their best, facing challenges and conflicts—and finding ways to overcome them. (For more on speaking dramatically, see our tip sheet, "Theatrical Techniques for Business Training.")
One way to understand how an everyday speech can be transformed into the extraordinary is to look back on your own life. What were the dramatic events (and their consequences) in your life? By reliving the narrative that held meaning for your own hopes and dreams, you can understand the sheer power that a good dramatic story can pack for audiences generally.
Simply transfer such peaks of emotion to the product, service, mission, or topic you're speaking on. Some of the things to focus on include the following:
- Who was facing defeat, but won?
- Who took the bravest chance and in the end prevailed?
- Think power, conflict, heroes, quests, adventures, underdogs, dark deeds, white steeds, and against-all-odds triumphs. These are the building blocks and ingredients of high drama.
And don’t imagine these things exist only in fairy tales and action films. The story you want to tell is filled with them. They’re the stuff of struggles and successes on behalf of people in need—including customers, clients, and constituents. You know all about that, don’t you?
Now, start digging for that gold.