An Uncommon Speaking Strategy
In my last blog, you read about the reasons why you should SCREAM at your audience when speaking. These are the first three parts of the SCREAM strategy: Simile, Contrast, and Rhyme. In this blog, you’ll read about the other three parts:
Call Back With Echoes
The ‘E’ in SCREAM stand for echo. Echo is a speaking technique focused on repetition. You repeat a previous statement or question you’ve posed earlier in your presentation.
Dr. Martin Luther King. Jr. masterfully used echo in his most famous speech. Consider this passage:
“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.
“I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
“I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
The repetition is “I have a dream.” These four words drive home his key idea. They also create a memorable mantra that we remember five decades later.
Deliver Rhythm Which Please the Ear
Like echo, the ‘A’ part of SCREAM presents a pleasing rhythm to the ear. ‘A’ represents alliteration. This is the repetition of sounds at the beginning of words or phrases. There are two types of alliteration – assonance and consonance.
(Note: The original version of the last blog post labeled these two ideas as types of rhyme. They should have been classified as alliteration. My apologies for any confusion)
Assonance is the repetition of vowel sounds. One example is – “Did Joe go too slow when he drove on the racetrack?” There are four words that repeat the long “o” sound.
Consonance is the repetition of consonants within a sentence. For instance, “Mark drove the truck on the slick road and ended up stuck in a ditch.” Again, four words repeat the sound, in this case the hard “k”.
The Best Speaking Tool to Create Vivid Pictures in Their Minds
Unlike echo and alliteration, the M in SCREAM focuses more on pictures in the minds of the audience. ‘M’ stands for metaphor. This tool uses tangible images to represent a less tangible idea or quality. The last sentence is an example of this. The word “tool” is more concrete than “metaphor.” Another example is, “He’s swimming in an ocean of troubles of his own doing.”
When using metaphors, be aware of overused examples. When people hear these cliches, they tend to ignore them. Examples are: “Life is a box of chocolates” or “let me paint a picture for you.” These are a couple of the countless examples which you should avoid.
Your Step-by-Step Plan to SCREAM at Your Next Audience
As a result of these six parts, you now have evidence of why you should SCREAM at your audience. To incorporate this strategy into your talks, test one at a time. Add a Simile. After presenting a couple of times, incorporate Contrast. After you get comfortable with those, keep up the process by adding Rhyme, Echo, Alliteration and Metaphor.
Do this, and you’ll create an experience that leaves a long-lasting impact on others. They’ll walk away pleased that you took the time to SCREAM at them.