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Story Embellishment – increase your audience experience, maximize laughter, turn chuckles into belly-laughs. Be brilliantly different.

Embellishment, or adding additional details to make a story more amusing, is great way to incorporate humor into your speeches, presentations, training, and even business communications. It increases the entertainment value of the audience’s experience, creating positive energy and aiding in retention. Some of the success strategies include:

  • Exaggerate or provide additional visual details to stories to increase audience engagement
  • Turn chuckles into belly-laughs to maximize your talk’s entertainment value
  • Implement a step-by-step process to enhance speech content
  • Be aware of the realistic “truth-boundaries” for exaggeration in stories

The process of incorporating embellishment is quite easy:

  1. Write out your story.
  2. Make the story concise and visual. “Tighten up” the story by removing unnecessary words and sentences. Substitute words that help the audience visualize what’s happening for words that do not.
  3. Once your story is “oozing” with visual details, read it out loud. Make any additional changes to make the story even better.
  4. Begin to “embellish” it even more, by asking yourself, “Where can I go from here?” Take each scene and look for ways to uncover humor or “punch-up” existing humor.

One way to do this is to ask the types of questions listed below. Remember to consider what could occur in addition to what did occur!

    1. How do I feel?
    2. What could I smell that is unusual?
    3. What could I see that could be quirky?
    4. What could I hear that could be unusual or annoying?
    5. What crazy or quirky things could I incorporate?
    6. What could annoy or frustrate me at this present time in this “scene?”
    7. What could be ironic about what is happening?
    8. What are the “norms” that could be “flipped” to shock?
    9. How can I embellish this story to build tension prior to triggering laughter?

There’s one very important point to make regarding embellishment. Most of the time when I embellish a story, I still make sure the embellishment or exaggeration is believable. (Notice I said most of the time, not all of the time!).

I increase the visual details and stretch the truth, but the story as a whole is based on real occurrences. If the audience feels that your personal story is untrue, they may react negatively. However, if I am delivering a tall-tale story that the audience knows from the onset is stretched beyond credibility, then there are no boundaries!

Let’s see this in action! The videos for this lesson are in two parts. Each will help you explore the success strategies I use to embellish stories to maximize the audience’s experience and to turn chuckles into belly-laughs.

In this first video (5 minutes) I explain the purpose of embellishment and the logical steps to implement it. The video also incorporates a brief video snippet where I show the process at work while discussing the funny happenings during an embellishment workshop with a hilarious 12-year-old.

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