Public Speaking Skills:
AsidesAn "aside", which is commonly used in theater, is something said to the audience that is not to be heard by the other actors. Using asides during your presentation are effective ways of adding humor to your public speaking skills.
If the aside was delivered on a television sitcom for instance, the actor would look right at the camera and talk to the viewers at home instead of talking to the other actors. In children's television such as "Blue's Clues", asides are used frequently as the man talks about the puppy Blue to the kids at home watching.
This public speaking skill means a temporary departure from the main theme or topic. If you get good at this technique, the audience will think you are very clever in using your public speaking skills.
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 great public speaking skill to have.
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.
Becoming a master of your public speaking skills means becoming a great storyteller, telling of great truths and human triumphs.
Copyright © 1998 - 2005