Public Speaking Course:
In my public speaking course you will learn that another effective way to add
humor to your presentation is to use asides. An "aside", which
originated in theater, is something that is said to the audience that's not
supposed to be heard by the other actors.
For example, if the aside was delivered on a television sitcom, the actor would
look right into the camera and talk to the viewers at home, while the other
actors pretend not to notice. In children's television shows such as
"Blue's Clues", asides are used throughout the whole show as the man
talks about the puppy, Blue, to the kids at home watching.
During your public speaking course you learn that asides are basically done by
taking a temporary departure from the main theme or topic to deliver a point.
If you get good at using this technique during your public speaking course, the
audience will think you are very fun and clever.
The way it works is to begin telling a story or giving information on a certain
topic, then going off on a tangent (aside) indirectly related to the main theme.
When you have finished your aside, you then pick up where you left off and keep
right on going. Often times this aside provides rich, varied, and valuable
background information for the listener or can simply be a funny story that
relates to your topic.
At first, the audience may think you are a little confused when you leave the
original topic, but once you return to it after the aside, they will realize
that you are in total control, and know your subject completely. This is very
impressive to your audience and shows them that you are completely in control of
your topic. 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
I tell a story about some medical work I had done once. The doctor said to me,
"This will just pinch a little bit."
That sentence sends me down a whole different path talking about how my dentist
had said the same thing as he pushed the Novacaine needle up into my brain,
twisted it around, and pulled it out.
I then came back to the main line of the first medical story until I got to the
word gauze. That word sends me off on another story about my mother ripping
gauze off me. Then it is back to the main topic again.
You can alert the audience of an upcoming aside by saying the word
"incidentally" before switching topics.
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 using asides during your public speaking course and you
will master the means to becoming a great storyteller, telling of great truths
and human triumphs.