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Purposeful Movement Enhances Storytelling and Humor Delivery

What is purposeful movement and why do we need to include it as a storytelling and humor tool?

Purposeful movement can include:

  • Walking to your left on the stage (The left, from the speaker’s view, is typically used to indicate “later” or the “future.” An easy way to remember this is “left is later.”)
  • Walking to your right on the stage (The right, from the speaker’s view, is typically used to indicate “earlier” or the “past.”)
  • Walking forward a few steps forward can indicate that you are saying something important, positive, or want to “draw in” the audience.
  • Stepping backwards (away from the audience) can indicate that you are saying something negative, are apprehensive, “removing yourself” from the situation, etc.

Why is purposeful movement so important? It enhances the visual details relating to funny stories and helps you set up humor. For me, the most important aspect is that it allows me to choreograph my speech to use the full extent of the stage and engage different sections of the audience. Every audience member is a customer that deserves my attention. If there is a wide stage, choreographed purposeful movement allows me to move from one part of the stage to another. This allows me to deliver my humor “punch-lines” in different quadrants and make the audience members feel that I am having one-on-one conversations with them.

The following is a brief video excerpt demonstrating purposeful movement in action. Note how I go from one side of the room to the other.

Another success strategy relating to gestures, facial expressions, and purposeful movement relates to audience size. As your audience size increases in different events (45 people, 200 people, 1000+ people, etc.) you need to make your gestures and facial expressions larger to maximize effectiveness. As the stage size increases and/or is very wide, your purposeful movement needs additional consideration and coordination.

This is a series of blog articles and brief videos on “Finding the Funny – Learn the Step-By-Step-Process to Develop and Deliver Humor & Funny Stories & Incorporate into Serious Content.” The blogs are excerpts from my e-learning course (see link on right) which includes:

  • Over 16 lessons
  • Over 8 hours of video instruction
  • Activities and quizzes to complement each lesson
  • Downloadable worksheets and templates
  • 12 month access to course updates and additions

Please feel free to share with professional speakers, public speakers, trainers…anyone who stands in front of audiences who wants to make them laugh or bring some lightheartedness into serious content. Help me out by “liking,” “subscribing.” and “sharing” on the various social media platforms. To help me out, please make sure you “subscribe” (right-hand column) so you do not miss any of these weekly blog articles. Please feel free to comment on this blog-site and on social-media sites, and share with those who will benefit from them.

Copyright © MMXX by David R. Hill