That comment is usually followed by the joke that most people would rather lie in the coffin than give the funeral eulogy. I don’t know if it’s true, but it sure is an attention getter and worth thinking about.
I do know that public speaking terrifies people. What exactly are they afraid of? Humiliation.
People will freeze or break into a sweat at the thought of forgetting what to say, of saying something stupid, or simply being ignored.
None of those events will kill or even harm you. And, the thoughts that they might happen are made up stories. Nonetheless, the fear sparked by those thoughts is real and intense.
What does this have to do with watching more movies? Read on, and find out.
Great public speaking translates into great storytelling. One of the best ways to become a great storyteller is to watch great movies.
Who wouldn’t want to do that? It will never feel like work; it will give you a welcome vacation from yourself; it will energize you; and it has the potential to dramatically increase your income. Duh!
Here are some tips for how to watch movies, have fun, and become a great storyteller.
THE FIRST MINUTES – Pay close attention to how a movie opens. Ask yourself, “Did it immediately engage me, and how did it hold my attention?”
You’ll be amazed at how much you can learn by watching the first five or ten minutes of several movies back to back and applying that question. Do it at home with a bunch of DVD’s. Write down your answers.
CONFLICT – We are hard wired to empathize with another person’s struggle to overcome obstacles on the road to achieving a worthy goal. It’s called the hero’s journey. It’s built into our DNA.
If the central character in a movie is not fighting for something big, for something that matters, you will feel it in your gut. There will be little to no conflict, and your attention will wander.
In your business presentations, learn to take your audience on a hero’s journey where they overcome a painful problem, and they will hang on your every word.
SOUND – The musical score and all the sound effects in a movie enrich the storytelling experience. They work on your emotions at an unconscious level.
What can you say and do in a presentation that appeals to an audiences’s sense of sound?
LIGHTING – The way a film is lit has a powerful effect on the way you receive the story. Lighting creates mood, and mood stirs emotions.
There are so many other elements of movie storytelling that you can learn from and incorporate into your public speaking and presentations. If I attempted to cover them all here, this article would make Wikipedia look like a post-it note.
Here are the important things for you to remember and apply.
AROUSE CURIOSITY – Make it a point to capture people’s attention immediately by arousing their curiosity the same way that great movies draw you in immediately.
To learn more about how to use curiosity in all your communication download my eBook, “Storytelling Secrets for a Rich Life and Business.” Simply enter your first name and email in the form on the home page, and instantly receive the book.
CREATE CONFLICT – Always make your stories about the people you are talking to. Have one person in mind who represents your audience when you create your story. Make that person feel like the central character who undergoes a journey from zero to hero.
ENGAGE THE SENSES – Study how movies work on all of your senses to bring you into the world of the story. Use vivid sensory language in your public speaking and presentations. Talk to the heart more than the head.
Now I want you to forget everything you learned here. No, don’t forget it. Allow it to live in your unconscious mind. Put it all together when you develop your next presentation by remember this one thing…
So what are you waiting for? Go to a movie tonight, fire up Netflix, or pop a DVD into your player. Watch, escape, and learn.