Good public speaking requires that you communicate not only with good substance but also with great style. This article is about style, and it’s a bit of a gimmick, but it’s actually really powerful because it is so simple and works really well.
What is Alliteration
Alliteration basically means you use phrases that begin with the same letter. Notice how the headline to this post is “Alliteration to Attract Attention” and how to “Pack a Punch.” If you pay attention, you see people using this technique all the time. For example, what does every guy looking for a diamond ring for his girlfriend know? The four “Cs”, right? Cut, Carat, Clarity, and Color. My buddies say there’s a fifth “C” which is Cost. Or from a popular butter commercial: “You’ll never put a better bit of butter on your knife.” And this method has been used for as long as we have been humans in a wide range of contexts from poetry to politics.
Why Public Speakers Should Use Alliteration
As I’ve said before, I am a trial lawyer. So when I argue to the jury – just as when you deliver a wedding toast, or give a public presentation, or make a sales pitch, or teach at a university – your audience is mostly not reading along. Unless you are using a powerpoint presentation heavily, and in future articles I’ll tell you why this is no good. In any event, most of the time your audience is listening, and use their ears to do so. And because that’s the case, they’re taking in information aurally. The brain works differently when taking in sound, and so in order to provide a type of structure for listeners to remember your speech, and sort the information you’re giving to them, alliteration is a great way of labeling your categories.
For example, when delivering a closing argument trial, for example, I heard one lawyer refer to the drug-dealing defendant who was charged with selling cocaine and having a gun on the side as having “product, profit, and protection.” The police had found a wad of cash, some drugs, and a gun on the defendant, and so instead of talking about money, cocaine, and a pistol, he was able to talk in terms of product (the drugs found on the defendant), profit (the wad of cash found), and protection (the gun he carried). You can use this technique as well in your speeches.
How You Can Pack a Punch Using this Public Speaking Technique
Whether you’re delivering a wedding toast or a sales or marketing presentation, use this technique the next time. Don’t go overboard; just spice it up.
In talking about your product, you can talk in categories of what makes your product amazing in talking about features, affordable in talking about price, and
When delivering a wedding toast as a maid of honor, you can talk about your friend in terms of Claire the baby, the best friend, and the bride.
Delivering a class lecture in personal finance, you could talk about income and investment.
Most of the time, it’s simply trying to spend 30 to 60 more seconds to come up with a synonym for the word you want to use, but the return on investment in doing so is fantastic, and makes your presentation and public speaking more memorable.
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