Public Speaking Course:
In my public speaking course I teach how to use asides properly for another effective way to add humor
to your presentation. An "aside",
which is commonly used in the theater, is something that is said to the audience
that is 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 those watching at home instead
of talking to the other actors. Asides are used quite often in children's television shows such as
"Blue's Clues", which has the actor looking into the camera while he talks about the
puppy, Blue, to the kids at home watching.
During your public speaking course, you will practice how to add asides in
your presentation by temporary leaving the main theme or topic to
make a point or add extra emphasis to that point. If you get good at
using this technique during your public speaking course, the audience
will think you are very clever.
It works by beginning to tell a story or delivering information
on a certain topic, then going 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 might 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 that you were in total control, and that 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 skill learned in your public speaking course.
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 of the
story 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.
I then came back to the main line of the medical story until I got to
the word gauze. This word then sets off another different story about my mother
ripping gauze off me. Then it is back to the main topic again.
You can alert the audience to your upcoming aside by saying the word "incidentally"
before you veer off the main topic into another story
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.