This is one in an ongoing series of posts to help you hone your skills as a speaker either in an up-front setting or a small group.
I don’t care if it made everyone cry at camp, or if it just came out in the theaters/happened on the news. No matter how cool an illustration is, it is a distraction if it doesn’t clearly reinforce what you are saying. If it is as deeply impacting as you think it is, the students will remember the illustration rather than the point you were trying to communicate.
How can you tell if your amazing illustration is disconnected? If you find yourself spending more than a couple of minutes trying to figure out how to make it make sense with your talk: PUT YOUR HANDS IN THE AIR AND BACK AWAY SLOWLY. Write down the illustration, stick it in a file, or save it on your desktop (where everything else is) for later.
Though, it is generally a bad idea to plan a talk around a cool illustration, you are probably going to do it anyway because this was so great at camp. So, here’s how to rock it in three steps:
- Take a moment to watch the video or re-read the illustration and boil its message down into a sentence.
- Write down the sentence, put the illustration away, and write your talk.
- Then close with it. There’s nothing worse than opening with something that is way better than the rest of your message. You want to build to this awesome thing and then use it to make your talk a grand slam.