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Art of Public Speaking:
Exaggeration


Increasing or decreasing proportions can be a fun way to create humor at a public speaking assignment. It is similar to a caricature artist that outrageously exaggerates the features of an individual, while still keeping the person recognizable. So exaggeration is a caricature in words, and words are the "paint" of the art of public speaking to make memorable pictures.

I did a public speaking assignment one time for Secretaries Day at a large insurance company. I was making a point about how hectic it always was for the secretaries. It went like this,

"You're answering the telephone, the fax machine is ringing, you're making copies, and you're filing every policy clear back to 1910."

The secretaries could relate to each item mentioned. They obviously did lots of filing, but certainly NOT as far back as 1910.

Exaggerating this date was amusing to them and drove home the point that they always had lots of work piled up.

The key to using exaggeration is to inflate or deflate whatever you are talking about so much that it is obviously an exaggeration. In the last example you wouldn't want to use the year 1999 if you were doing the talk in 2000 because it is very likely that an insurance company would really be working on a file for a year or more. That's not amusing.

Of course, who am I to tell you what is amusing. I spent two terms in the third grade . . . Truman's and Eisenhower's. hahahahahahaa

The art of public speaking uses exaggeration to make memorable your point, and your speech.

Copyright 1998 - 2004

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