Speaking IV Notes: Narrative Speaking

30 Mar

In basic terms, Narrative Speaking is Storytelling. Both need certain elements:

Sequencing: Both narrative speeches and stories should have a beginning (introduction), plot (body), and an ending (conclusion).  Both should contain transitions so that the audience can better follow or understand.

Details and Examples: Every good story or speech needs great content to keep the audience interested. If you were to make a graph of your speech, it should look something like this:

But wait there’s more!

In order to make your speeches even better you can use some tools or Literary Devices to grab the audience’s attention. Here are some great examples using “friendship” as our topic:

-Imagery: Language that creates vivid images or brings to mind a picture. Uses the senses: smells, sights, sounds, tastes and feelings. Ex. Our friendship was always stormy. When we fought, it was like thunder and lightning.

-Rhetorical Question: A question that doesn’t need an answer, but wants to call attention to something. Ex. Where would we be without friends?

-Metaphor/Simile: A comparison between 2 things. Ex. My friend is like a lamp. When I am lost in the dark, she lights my way.

-Repetition: Saying a phrase or a word over and over again. Ex. Friends ‘til the end. Even if we moved away from each other, we’d always be friends ‘til the end.

-Idiom: An expression that has 2 meanings: a literal meaning and a figurative meaning. Ex. My friend took care of me even when I was sick as a dog.

-Allusion: A reference to something or somebody famous. Ex. Batman and Robin were the best of friends.

You can pick and choose the best literary devices for your speech to make it better. Don’t include all of them! Instead, find the ones the fit the best.

Finally, one of the best ways to begin a speech is through storytelling. This is called telling an anecdote.

Anecdote: A small, short story that relates to your overall speech or theme.

So, not only is storytelling like narrative speaking, but you can use storytelling to start any kind of speech.


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