When you speak, does your audience have questions?
The questions I’m referring to are those that create curiosity. Those that keep their interest, eager to hear your next words.
When most people give a speech, they don’t do this.
If you are not creating those types of questions, your speech is not connecting. People will forget it.
Why is this?
Speech Lesson From The Movies
Think about a movie you like.
One of the reasons it resonates with you is that it creates questions that keep you watching. You may know that I’m a big fan of the Star Wars saga. It’s a terrific example of storytelling that grabs and holds your interest. It presents one series of circumstances after another that generate questions.
Consider the opening scene of the original movie. A question is immediately created: “Why is this massive ship shooting at that tiny one?”
Shortly after, more questions come up:
“Who is this Darth Vader character?”
“Why are these stolen plans so important?”
“What is this ‘Death Star’ they keep referring to?”
Questions = Tension = Audience Interest
Well-crafted scenes that create questions also increase the tension in you story.
In Star Wars, a series of increasingly-dangerous situations inspire questions that heighten the tension:
“How will they avoid detection when they’re trapped on the Death Star?”
“Will they escape the trash compactor?”
“Will the Rebels be able to destroy the Death Star?”
Director George Lucas wove these questions throughout the movie. Until the end, when Luke Skywalker fires the shots that destroy the Death Star, you have questions.
The Value of Feedback for Your Next Speech
When you write your next speech, get feedback from non-speakers. Share your stories without telling the listener you’re working on a speech. Ask them what questions your story creates. Ask if you’ve answered all questions.
This valuable feedback will let you know if you’re creating curiosity. It will also let you know if you’re building tension in your story.
Develop an ever-increasing level of uncertainty and tension in your story. Create questions that keep the audience on the edge of their seats. Develop a “what happens next” feeling that leaves them anticipating the next scene.
Do this, and you’ll have a story that is not only entertaining, but it also leaves a long-lasting impact.
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