Another effective way to add humor to your presentation is to add asides,
which you will learn during your public speaking course. An "aside",
which is commonly used in the theater, is something said to the audience
that is not to be heard by the other actors.
For instance, if the aside was delivered on a television sitcom, the actor
would look right into the camera and talk to the viewers at home instead
of talking to the other actors. In children's television shows such as
"Blue's Clues", asides are used frequently as the man talks about the
puppy, Blue, to the kids at home watching.
During your public speaking course, you will practice adding asides by
just taking a temporary departure from the main theme or topic to deliver
a point or make extra emphasis on that point. If you get good at
using this technique during your public speaking course, the audience
will think you are very clever.
The way it works is that you begin telling a story or delivering information
on a certain topic. Then you go off on a tangent (aside) indirectly related
to the main theme. When you have finished the aside, you pick up the main
theme where you left off and keep right on going. Often times this aside
provides rich, varied, and valuable background information for the listener.
At first, the audience may think you are lost or confused when you leave
the original topic, but when you return to the main line after the aside,
they realize you are in total control, and you know your subject backwards
and forwards. This is very impressive. For example great storytellers
are able to take you down several auxiliary paths, but still move you
along the main path from beginning to end. Being a great storyteller is
a skill learned in your public speaking course.
I tell a story about some medical work I had done where the doctor said
to me, "This will just pinch a little bit."
This phrase sends me down a whole different path talking about how my
dentist had said the same thing and then pushed the Novacaine needle up
into my brain, twisted it around, and pulled it out. (Another humorous
aside: To clarify, he pulled out the needle, not my brain, but then again
sometimes my girlfriend says, "He sucked that out too, but it only took
a small needle." hahaha Isn't she the comedi-anne?)
I then came back to the main line of the medical story until I got to
the word gauze. This word sets off another tangential story about my mother
ripping gauze off me. Then it is back to the main line again.
You can alert the audience of an upcoming aside by saying the word "incidentally"
or even "An aside to that is this...", before you veer off the main path.
Another good technique in doing asides is to go to a different side of
the stage when you start to share an aside. Get good at sharing asides
and you will add a new dimension to the way you tell your funny stories
or deliver information.
Keep practicing this skill during your public speaking course and you
will master the means to becoming a great storyteller, telling of great
truths and human triumphs.
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