Episode 50: Real Talking Tips – Don’t Flat Line Your Message. Create A Story Arc.
A story arc is needed in each speech, presentation, audio recording, and series episode. For the story to go somewhere, change must occur from the beginning of the speech, to the end of the message, and beyond the spoken words.
The purpose of a story arc is to:
1. Engage the audience’s attention.
2. Effect a change.
‘Flat lining a message’ occurs when a speaker fails to take the audience on a journey and no change is expected from the listener. Incorporating a transformational change or ‘story arc’ engages the audience. Story arc changes can be from avoidance to acceptance, confusion to understanding, boredom to action, disconnection to support, disappointment to success, etc. The story arc style can be simple, complex, dramatic, or comedic.
An extended story arc strings together a series of individual performances or episodes into an overall changed result. For example, the arc of each Real Talking Tips episode is structured to take the listener from a simple understanding of a single speech technique to integrating all 52 Real Talking Tips speech techniques for more impactful results. These talking tips can improve how a person speaks in live presentations, voice-over recordings, business presentations, podcasts, sales calls, and daily life.
The speaker’s narrative story arc takes the audience on a journey, which is the foundation of good storytelling.
Practice along with the Real Talking Tips videos, audio podcast, this blog, my Elaine Clark apps – Adding Melody To Your Voice and Activate Your Voice plus my best selling Elaine A. Clark books, There’s Money Where Your Mouth Is and Voice-Overs for Podcasting.
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50: Create A Story Arc to Effect Change.
Real Talking Tips 50 delves into the structure and delivery of a message that utilizes a story arc. The purpose of a story arc is to not only to engage the audience’s attention but also to effect a change. The change can be for acceptance, understanding, support, and action. The story arc can be simple, complex, dramatic, or comedic. For the story to go somewhere, change must occur from the beginning of the speech, to the end of the message, and beyond the spoken words. A story arc is needed in each speech, recording, and episode. And a larger extended story arc ties those individual performances or episodes into a series that starts in one place and progresses to a changed result.
For example, the arc of each Real Talking Tips episode is structured to take the listener from a simple understanding of a speech technique to integrating that technique into their own lives so when they speak, they get better results. The overall purpose of this 52-episode Real Talking Tips series is to provide people with a series of proven techniques that can improve how they speak in live presentations, voice-over recordings, business presentations, podcasts, sales calls, and daily life.
The narrative story arc takes the audience on a journey, which is the foundation of good storytelling.
Use Elaine A. Clark’s Making It M.I.N.E.® to Create A Story Arc.
Let’s review three ways you can create a story arc.
1. In Real Talking Tips episodes 46-49 focused on my Elaine A. Clark Making It M.I.N.E.® speech performance system. We started with Motivation, which is the moment before we talk and impetus for speaking. The Need was defined as the one-word purpose and expected result. Throughout the message, the speaker used a variety of Emotions and Intentions to color the words and establish the speaker’s personal point of view.
2. Real Talking Tips episodes 42-45 was on the Power of Persuasion and Aristotle’s Rhetorical Triangle. For the speaker’s message to be effective and balanced, the speaker needs to incorporate all three rhetorical elements: Ethos (authority), Logos (logic), and Pathos (emotions).
3. Throughout this Real Talking Tips series, we worked on body positioning, breathing, gestures, and muscle movements. In, out, up, down, strong, soft, angled, or straight movements and breaths add variety and change.
We’ll tie these Real Talking Tips concepts together in the next section.
Real Talking Tips 50: Create A Story Arc When You Speak.
Just when you thought it was getting easy. Now, it’s time to put multiple concepts together to create a story arc.
Because I like to get people out of their head and into their body, we’ll practice creating a story arc using only physical movements and breathing. We’ll begin with the motivation of annoyance and progress to the end with the need for confidence. Follow along now using your body and breath.
STORY ARC: ANNOYANCE to CONFIDENCE
1. Roll your eyes, breathe out, shake your head, and look down.
2. Breathe in and look up.
3. Angle your head slightly to one side, breathe out, nod, and gesture.
4. Breathe in, drop your shoulders, and straighten your head.
5. Pull your shoulders back and make a fist with one hand.
6. Breathe in slowly, smile, and make a strong downward movement with the clinched hand.
Using the same ANNOYANCE to CONFIDENCE story arc, replicate the movements and breath as you say the following six lines.
1. I couldn’t believe it happened to me.
2. A business meeting at 8am.
3. In a place I’ve never been before. But I told myself, “I know what I’m talking about when I walk through those doors.”
4. Those were my thoughts before I came here today.
5. And now I can’t think of anywhere else I’d rather be than with you all to make a change.
6. Together… we will make it happen!
Here’s your STORY ARC assignment.
1. Create a story arc from Confidence to Annoyance using the same script. Start with the last direction and progress to the first physical movements and breathing.
2. Practice the same script with different Motivation and Need story arcs. Be aware that you may need to adjust some of the physical gestures and emotions in order to support the story. Here are just a few choices. Feel free to try other combinations based on your work and performance needs.
Exuberant to Deflation + Deflated to Exuberance
Apprehensive to Smugness + Smug to Apprehensiveness
Cocky to Friendliness + Friendly to Cockiness
3. Apply the various story arc elements in your next presentation, recording, meeting, or podcast.
Then, get ready to access your Speaking Problem Areas in Real Talking Tips Episode 51.
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