15: How to Speak so People will LISTEN.
Point to the NOUN!
Let’s get to the point about Nouns! There are: Common Nouns, Proper Nouns, Collective Nouns, and Personal Pronouns. Now it’s time to point out where people, places, things, creatures, and critters are located.
Why are nouns important in voice-overs, writing, and speech communication? Nouns are unique because they have a location. Typically, the location is stationary… but if that noun has movement, like a car or airplane, it may need a corresponding movement to follow the location.
Join me, Elaine A. Clark, on how to speak so people will listen and the “noun” speech communication journey. And don’t forget to download, subscribe and share each new RealTalkingTips episode. The YouTube, website, and audio links are below.
In Episode 13, we talked about Storytelling and how using the body and imagination can bridge the gap between you and the audience by creating a 3-D world. We followed that up in Episode 14 by adding broad gestures and subtle movements to Verbs so they have action. Now it’s time to point out where people, places, things, creatures, and critters are located. That’s right… Nouns.
The word ‘noun’ was first used in print in the 14th century. The Latin grammar word for ‘noun’ was nōmen, which meant ‘name.’
Common nouns – Generic terms for people, places, things or ideas
Proper Nouns – A specific person, place, or thing where the first letter of the word is usually capitalized.
Collective Nouns – Group or Team of people, animals, or things
Personal Pronouns – I, me, we, us, he, him, she, her, it, they, them, us, you
Why are nouns important in voice-overs, writing, and speech communication?
Let’s get to the point about nouns!
NOUNS have LOCATIONS!
People, Animals, Things… oh my! And don’t forget, nouns can also an idea, action, or quality.
They can be the subject, object, or complement of a verb… the object of a preposition… or in apposition to another noun.
What makes nouns unique is that they have a location. Typically, the location is stationary… but if that noun has movement, like a car or airplane, it may need a corresponding movement to correspond to the location.
If the car were parked, I would point to it and say: “Check out that car.” If the car ran a red light, I might move my hand to replicate the car’s movement and say: “Did you see that car?”
Nouns also have size, height, and weight. If the noun is tall, I might gesture up and say: “Look at that bear!” If there was a little bear cub, I might gesture lower and say, “Look at that bear.”
Appositional nouns, where two words or phrases that describe or define the other are placed next to each other; the proper noun is often the most important. For example: “Look at your bear Teddy!” – pointing higher if Teddy is huge. Or: “Look at your bear Teddy!” – pointing down if Teddy is tiny.
Often in speech when someone doesn’t know the size or location of the noun, they do nothing and sound neutral. In that instance, the audience often wonders where the noun is located and why they should be looking at it. A neutral approach can be used when the speaker wants the audience to share their opinion first and not be influenced by the speaker’s statement.
Collective nouns like group, flock, batch, bundle, and team… also denote size. A corresponding large or small movement on the word shares that information with the audience. I would make a broad gesture on “group” if it were a large size or a small gesture on “group” if it was only a few people.
Personal pronouns have a minimum of 3 locations: Inward pointing to oneself when referencing ‘I’ and ‘me.’ Pointing outward when talking to you, she, he, him, her, it, they, or them. And an elliptical gesture when including everyone in they, them, we, and us.
Can You Locate the Nouns?
Okay, now it’s your turn to workout in this Real Talking Tips Micro Learning Lesson. Here’s a paragraph from a science fiction script that I wrote for the audiobook section of my book, There’s Money Where Your Mouth Is. I’m going to point to the location of the various nouns. While you listen, see if you can visualize the location of the various people and objects.
Now it’s your turn to read this section and add a location by pointing, nodding , or gesturing to the various nouns. You may find that your coordination is off when you point out the nouns. So work on your exact location coordination. The gesture has to land on the noun… and not on other words.
Thanks for tuning in to Real Talking Tips – how to speak so people will listen! There are more cool speech, voice-over, and presentation tips coming. So please, take a moment to download, subscribe, ring the bell, and share RealTalkingTips.