Paint Pictures in the Minds of Others
I remember so vividly sitting on the porch with my brother and cousins, listening to my uncle tell stories. Even though we were young and restless, he kept us captivated for what must have been an hour at a time but seemed like fleeting moments.
What I remember most — what still fascinates me — is the way he combined his voice, expressions, and body language, all designed to engross us in his tales. I have to believe that his storytelling was as exciting for him as it was spellbinding for us.
I can picture myself sitting there with my mouth open. I swear I could see in my mind everything he was describing. And to this day, I try to remember the lessons I learned the many times I sat on that porch.
My uncle knew more than just how to tell stories. He knew the secret. Perhaps, he learned it as he grew up, listening to others tell stories. Perhaps, he knew it intuitively. In any case, he sure knew how to spin a yarn, as it were.
His secret? He helped us see what he saw in his mind. He mesmerized us by altering his voice’s pace, pitch, and tone. He grabbed us with his choice of just the right word at the right time. He kept us engaged with his expressions, body language, and gestures. He didn’t just tell stories, he relived them, and in doing so, he skillfully painted pictures on the canvas of our minds.
Now his secret is your secret. Paint dynamic pictures in the minds of your audience, and they will last in those minds for a lifetime.