Why You Should SCREAM at Your Audience When You Are Speaking
Dr. Randy Harvey is an accomplished inspirational and entertaining speaker. He’s the 2004 World Champion of Public Speaking. He’s also the coach of the 2012 World Champion of Public Speaking. Randy has travelled the world to share his wisdom about improving your communication skills.
One of the most important speaking tools he shares is the SCREAM strategy. The foundation of this ideas come from Winston Churchill.
The SCREAM strategy transforms ordinary presentations into a meaningful and memorable experience.
SCREAM Stands For:
S – Simile
C – Contrast
R – Rhyme
E – Echo
A – Alliteration
M – Metaphor
Over the next two posts, you’ll learn more about each specific step. For this blog, the focus is on simile, contrast, and rhyme.
What is a Simile?
A simile is a figure of speech that directly compares two different ideas or things. The words “like” or “as” are often used in similes to introduce the comparison. This is helpful when explaining abstract concepts.
For example, I often share this simile with clients -“creating a speech is like building a house. You wouldn’t build the house by throwing wood, nails, shingles, concrete, and drywall all into a big pile, then put the pieces together in a random fashion.
“You’d build a foundation, then develop the first floor, the walls the second floor, and so on. Eventually you’d have a solid and secure structure.
“Creating a speech is the same way. You craft a foundational concept, your support points, your opening, and your conclusion. You can then add other parts to develop a solid speech.”
This comparison gives my clients a clear picture of how to create a speech. The image of the house is relatable.
How Do You Effectively Use Contrast?
Unlike simile, contrast highlights the differences between two ideas or things. A perfect example of this is political campaigns. This is useful if you want the benefits of one concept to stand out from another.
A perfect example of use of contrast is political campaigns. One candidate will highlight her view on use of the military versus her opponent. She’ll talk about why her position is better than the opposition’s.
Another example is from the world of financial planning. An advisor could contrast different type of insurance policies. A long-term, permanent policy (called “whole life”) has certain advantages. It has predictable premiums that would never increase. There is guaranteed annual growth of your savings. Cash values are accessible for any purpose.
Shorter-term insurance (called “term insurance”) has premiums that can increase in the future. It has no cash value – it’s pure protection.
This contrast can help you decide which option is in your best interest.
What Types of Rhyme Are There?
Simile and contrast focus on the material in your speech. Rhyme focuses on the sounds of your presentation. It can create a pleasant rhythm which keeps audience attention.
There are two type of rhyme – internal and external. Internal rhyme is the rhyming of words within a sentence. An example is, “Why would you try to fly the plane in this weather?” has three words that sound alike.
There are other type of rhyme is external. This is the rhyming of words at the end of sentences. As pointed out by Dr. Harvey, use of external rhyme should be limited in public speaking. These rhymes are better used for communication devices like poetry.
Simile and contrast create pictures in the minds of your audience. This helps them understand complex ideas. Rhyme helps you develop a rhythm that is pleasing to the ear.
In the next post, you’ll pick up three more tips on how to SCREAM at your audience.