A splash of colour

Make those words stand out…

Did the graphic get your attention? Did it shock you? Did it make you stare? Did it make you pull a face?
Don’t worry it’s not me after a night on the town and it is paint not blood!

Point I’m making, is that pictures grab your attention, they provoke an emotional response. Powerful allies for any Public Speaker or Presenter.
In order to harness that power you have to turn your abstract ideas into concrete images using words not paint. You have to create word pictures.

Here’s an example:
At the end of his career, General Douglas MacArthur returned to West Point, to address the cadets. He spoke as a soldier of one era to the soldiers of another….

“The shadows are lengthening for me. The twilight is here. My days of old have vanished – tone and tints. They have gone glimmering through the dreams of things that were. Their memory is one of wondrous beauty, watered by tears and coaxed and caressed by the smiles of yesterday. I listen, then, but with thirsty ear, for the witching melody of faint bugles blowing reveille, of far drums beating the long roll.”

This is a great example because it uses two senses. We see the “wondrous beauty, watered by tears..” but we also hear the “faint bugles blowing reveille..”. If you read that and you aren’t moved… check your pulse!

A more well known example.
This is an exerpt from Reverend Martin Luther King Jr’s “I have a dream” speech.

“Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to open the doors of opportunity to all God’s children. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood.”

A passage full of images that not only drive home the message, but make the message easy to remember.

In his book “Lend Me Your Ears” Professor Max Atkinson says…
“…. something all effective speakers have in common is a capacity to use imagery in interesting and imaginative ways.”

Good speakers know that people remember pictures far longer than words. They know the images will be remembered when the words are long forgotten. So let’s take a look at the various techniques you can use. Techniques that will make your words stand out… like a varicose vein in winter.



Similes make it clear that you are comparing something to something else. They use the words “like” or “as”. “Her smile lit up the room like a thousand suns” is a simile.
Muhammad Ali’s catchphrase is a great example of a couple of similes… “I’ll be floating like a butterfly and stinging like a bee.”

You can use similes to make a serious point, add a touch of humour or add a few rhetorical flourishes to your speeches and presentations.

To make a serious point

The Archbishop George Carey used a simile, which he developed during his eulogy at the funeral of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.

“Like the sun, she bathed us in her warm glow. Now that the sun has set and the cool of the evening has come, some of the warmth we absorbed is flowing back to her.”

To add a touch of humour

Short sharp similes are a great way to add humour to your speeches and there are thousands to choose from.

“Paying alimony is like feeding hay to a dead horse.”
Groucho Marx

“He made a noise like a pig swallowing half a cabbage.”
P.G. Wodehouse

“Barbara Cartland’s eyes looked like two small crows that had crashed into a chalk cliff.”
Clive James

“Writing free verse is like playing tennis with the net down.”
Robert Frost

To form a three part list

The three part list is a common rhetorical device used by speakers (more on rhetorical devices in a later post). It is often used by politicians to trigger applause. For example… “I shall fight, fight and fight again to save the party I love.” Hugh Gaitskell.

“A hippie is someone who walks like Tarzan, looks like Jane and smells like Cheetah.” Ronald Reagan

To form a puzzle – solution sequence

A puzzle – solution sequence is another rhetorical device. In the first part, you pose a puzzle to the audience, in the second part you give them the answer. For example…
“Life can seem like a blunt pencil… pointless” Blackadder
Because of their two part structure similes are ideal for forming puzzle – solution sequences.

“John Donne’s poems are like the peace of God… they pass all understanding.”
King James I

Serious point, humorous point or a touch of rhetoric, spice up your speeches and presentations with a sprinkling of similes.


Metaphor doesn’t use the words “as” or “like” it leaves it to the listener to get the point for themselves. If you say “Your heart melted”, that’s a metaphor.
Lots of metaphors were used to describe Margaret Thatcher. She was known as “the iron lady”, “Atilla the Hen”, and the “imaculate misconception”.

Metaphors don’t have a two part structure and are therefore not as useful as similes for adding rhetoric. They do however add considerable power to your word pictures and even… a bit of humour.

Pour on the power

“There is no easy walk to freedom anywhere and many of us will have to pass through the valley of the shadow of death again and again before we reach the mountaintop of our desires.”
Nelson Mandella

“Opportunity eagerly stretches out her arms to us. As we open our eyes each morning, she forgets and forgives any neglect of the past. Each night we burn the records of the day; at sunrise, every soul is born again.”
Cavett Robert

“Life is a narrow vale between the cold and barren peaks of two eternities. We strive in vain to look beyond the heights. We cry aloud and the only answer is the echo of our wailing cry”
Robert Green

A splash of humour

“… his whole tone was that of a disillusioned, sardonic philanderer who had drunk the wine-cup of illicit love to its dregs but was always ready to fill up again and have another.”
P.G. Wodehouse

Not as versatile but in many ways more powerful than similes look for opportunities to weave metaphors into your speeches and presentations.


Analogies are extended similies and metaphors used to develop and flesh out a theme. For instance, you could say that business is like a game of football. You have to learn how to play as a team. You have to know when to attack and when to defend and you have to learn that you don’t always win. Of course if you’re an England supporter… you already know that.

Martin Luther King used the analogy of “Cashing a cheque at a bank” in his famous “I have a dream speech”. He developed it in a way that summed up the issues that had given rise to the civil rights movement.

“In a sense we have come to our nation’s capital to cash a cheque. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir.
This note was a promise that all men would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of colour are concerned…”

To give your speech a framework to hang your points on and to help the audience remember those points, try using an analogy.

Go easy on the adverbs and adjectives

When you first start adding “word pictures” to your speeches, you may be tempted to create them using adverbs and adjectives… resist at all costs.
In his book “On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction”
William Zinsser has a few things to say about Adverbs and Adjectives…

On Adverbs
“Most adverbs are unnecessary.
Don’t tell us that the radio blared loudly – blare connotes loudness.
Don’t tell us that he clenched his teeth tightly – there is no other way to clench teeth.
The same applies to effortlessly easy, slightly spartan, totally flabbergasted.
Don’t use adverbs unless they do necessary work. Spare us the news that the winning athlete grinned widely.”

On adjectives
“Most adjectives are also unnecessary.
Most writers sow adjectives almost unconsciously into the soil of their prose to make it more lush and pretty and the sentences become longer and longer as they fill up with stately elms, frisky kittens, hard bitten detectives, sleepy lagoons.
Not every oak has to be gnarled.”

This may be a book about writing well but the same is true for your speech script.

Let me know your favourite word pictures

Do you have any favourite similes and metaphors?
What similes and metaphors do the graphics on this post conjure up for you?
Let your comments flow… like fine wine at a feast.

My thanks and gratitude to:
Dan for Bleeding man photo on flickr
EclecticBlogs for Sunrise photo on flickr
Seyed Mostafa Zamani for Melting heart photo on flickr
Vramak for Football photo on flickr

And the following authors whose books I have used as references and quoted throughout this article.

Professor Max AtkinsonLend Me Your Ears: All You Need to Know About Making Speeches and Presentations
Rosemarie JarskiThe Funniest Thing You Never Said: The Ultimate Collection of Humorous Quotations
William ZinsserOn Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction
P.G. WodehouseWodehouse Nuggets: An Anthology
Robert Baldwin and Ruth ParisBook of Similes

Please note – links to books are Amazon affiliate links

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  1. Hi Keith.

    I could have saved a lot of money on writing courses if I’d read this post first. You boiled things down to the essential and gave us some stellar examples by true artists.

    My motto when it comes to word pictures is, “This is no time to be logical.” The more we let our imaginations fly, the better!
    Jean Sarauer´s last great post ..How to Turn Life’s Lemons Into Blog Post LemonadeMy Profile

    • Hi Jean
      Great point “This is no time to be logical.” The more we let our imaginations fly, the better!”
      Never thought of it like that but you are so right.
      BTW – I notice that you use some fantastic word pictures in your own posts.
      Thanks for your comment.

  2. hey Keith

    yes, metaphors, similes, they act sometimes like a mild hypnotic state, which is often used by the politicians to achieve their goals,

    a wonderful article, like a room with windows on all four walls, wide open- many great topics for a conversation.

    Thank you

    • Hi Martyna
      Great to hear from you.
      Like the description of “act sometimes like a mild hypnotic state.”
      Sounds like a good way to look at a powerful simile.
      Thanks for your comment.

      • hello Keith

        people are scared of public speaking. what do you think, what is single most important reason of that fear?


        • Martyna
          Has to be fear of being shown up, of making a fool of yourself.
          If you prepare well that won’t happen but we all secretly carry that fear.

  3. Keith,

    As a ex corporate manager, I used to give many talks to our clients, VPs etc and was part of toast masters. But you present way cool and great information on public speaking compared to anywhere I have seen!

    Great job, of the books you mentioned P G Wodehouse is fab writer whom I like a lot, he is quite funny too.
    Zengirl @ Heart and Mind´s last great post ..Why learning from history is cool – Part 1My Profile

    • Hi Zengirl
      Interesting that you have been a member of Toastmasters. I would always advise people to join Toastmasters or some other Public Speaking organisation.
      The PG Wodehouse book is fantastic… brim full a funny material.
      Thanks for stopping by.

  4. Keith, like a rose blossoming in the warm rays of the sun, so is your post on imagery. It awakens the mind to the possibilities of truly eloquent speech.

    Not that I will ever use it mind you being the scardy cat that I am. 😀

    I’m tweeting this one for you because I reckon there’s a whole lot of people out there who would make good use of it.
    Sire´s last great post ..Reviewing MyLikes As An AdvertiserMy Profile

    • Hi Sire
      Scardy cat… you and me both. Only difference is that I’ve learned how to cover it up.
      Thanks for the tweet… appreciate your help.

  5. Hi Keith .. food for thought this post – I’ll have to come back .. lots of thought required – especially as the brain throughts are occupied eleswhere ..

    Excellent post with some lovely quotations .. that deserve more time ..

    Bye for now – Hilary
    Hilary´s last great post ..Lazy- Hazy- Mazey Days of Summer – two approaches to revitalising town life in the 21st century My Profile

    • Hi Hilary
      What is your brain tied up with at the moment?
      Glad you like the quotations.
      The General Douglas MacArthur example always brings a tear to my eye – I’m a big softie.
      See you next time your brain is free. LOL

  6. This is great, Keith. The subconscious mind can only think in pictures. If we can serve the mind up with vivid imagery it will sink deep into the mind. Everybody has heard it is wise to visualize outcomes we desire — the words alone will not get us there. This is precisely why I like to provide illustrations on my blog — it helps the intellectual conversation sink deeper into the subconscious.

    I love the breakdown you give, it paints a complete picture in it’s self… And a great reminder on Adverbs and Adjectives… its easy to get carried away with these!

    • Rob
      I should have thought to mention the subconscious mind and pictures thing… thanks for mentioning it.
      I love your little illustrations… makes your blog stand out.
      Appreciate your taking the time to comment – thanks.

  7. Hi Keith,

    We are so often told to keep things simple, but some of those phrases are so moving it makes me remember that that is not always the case!
    Words can create the most amazing images and change our mood in an instant. I think using these things can change a speech from providing information to something which will touch our lives for a long, long time.

    Many thanks, great post,

    • Well said Kate
      I think that any good speech has to go beyond giving information or being funny… it has to touch our hearts and play with our emotions.
      Very few speeches achieve that but the ones that do, we remember forever.
      Appreciate your comment Kate

  8. Hi Keith,

    I swear. I must have been living under a rock. I had not heard of similes before. Now, with your great lesson, I’m informed.

    I agree. Those speeches which leave lasting impressions do provide a picture story. But, (you know me) I have to ask, are we hearing the words of the speaker themselves, or the words of a talented speech writer?

    Which brings up another question. Have YOU ever thought of being a speech writer? From reading your blog for quite some time now, I suspect you’d be great at it.
    Barbara Swafford´s last great post ..Click HereMy Profile

    • Hi Barbara
      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a great comment.
      Good question “are we hearing the words of the speaker themselves, or the words of a talented speech writer?”
      Probably the words of the talented speechwriting team!
      Appreciate your kind words about my own speechwriting abilities – something for me to think about.
      Happy blogging Barbara

  9. Hi Keith,

    great post revealing some more layers behind famous speeches and how we can improve ours 🙂

    I like using metaphors, both in my blogs and daily life. Sometimes it is so much fun!

    Thanks for the post.
    Justyna Bizdra´s last great post ..6 Powerful Internet Marketing Strategies To Increase Traffic To Your Blog or WebsiteMy Profile

    • Great to hear from you Justyna.
      Metaphors are fantastic. I often take a great metaphor and change it slightly to fit my need.
      Good thing about a speech is that you can get away with things that might sound silly or overly sentimental in normal conversation.
      Make sure you keep blogging through the summer.

      • Hi! Loved reading your blog. As a toastmaster and an Eglish professor, I use lines fom poetry and Shakespeare which not only evoke images in the listeners’ mind, but also impress them greatly! Hope to read more great stuff here….!

        • Hi Rama
          Welcome and many thanks for your comment.

          English Professor? Hope you aren’t looking at my grammar and spelling. LOL

          I’ll take a look at your site this weekend and leave a comment.

  10. Beautiful writing Keith…You painted images across my mind and I will return again and again to your posts! Thanks!

    I was fortunate to work a bit with Bill Gove before his passing and he always emphasised “storytelling”…

    Another mentor of mine, Bob Proctor, once told me – “write your story, then go back and eliminate all the unnecessary words”.

    Thanks again for the reminders!!!

    • Hi Holly
      Glad you liked the images.
      I feel rather humbled when you mention people like Bill Gove. I’ve not read much of his material but he appears in a book I use all the time called “Speaking Secrets of the Masters”.
      Your mentor Bob Proctor is so right. “Eliminate the unnecessary words” is fantastic advice.
      Thanks for a great comment Holly

  11. Keith, you need to write a book. Excellent post. I’m a poet and yet I still mix up Metaphors and Similes.
    Rose´s last great post ..Novelty Gift Ideas for MenMy Profile

    • Hi Rose
      Great to hear from you again.
      Thanks for your kind words and I know what you mean about Similes and Metaphors!
      When I find the time – I hope to put an eBook together using the info from various posts.
      Thanks for your words of encouragement and please keep in touch.

  12. Hi Keith, Thanks so much for stopping by my site………. and now I’m very glad I found yours! What a great place to snoop around. A treasure trove!

    Chuckling at a comment you make on your page about making public speaking easy… the one where you mention Winston Churchill and a person might have to on weight to speak like him…. well you’d need to smoke big fat cigars too (LOL). He’s one of my favourites.

    I’m currently working on a workshop presentation for a writer’s conference coming up this fall……. I’ll be sure to refer to some of your great advice on how to share my topic!

    Thanks………..have a BEAUTIFUL day!
    Brenda Leyland´s last great post ..The Joy of Visiting New BloggersMy Profile

    • Hi Brenda
      Glad you found me and glad you had a little chuckle – I love a little chuckle.
      Easy Public Speaking might be a catchy title but for most of us… it’s not true. Needs hard work and commitment.
      Let me know how your writer’s conference goes, sounds very interesting.
      I’ll look out for you over on Barbara Swafford’s blog.
      Thanks for your comment – please stay in touch.

  13. Hi Keith,
    Excellent post!
    In all honesty, just as I live from my heart, I write and speak from my heart..I know how to tailor my words to a specific group, but I don’t know the “technical” aspects of writing/speaking..I can leave my audience with a lasting impression because all that is me is contained in my words/message..I enjoy public speaking and forums where you play with words..such as I have to sell you on a particular doorknob..or describe to you my favorite vacation place..or whatever it is..I just don’t think I’m very technical about it..I think someone may explain to you that I use word pictures, analogies, humour, metaphors..but I just don’t think about them in that way…
    All that you share here is necessary and good..my thought is as I incorporate it into my heart the tachnique flows with my words..hmm..as I write this I think I have it, I’m just not polished 🙂
    Joy´s last great post ..Fearless Fun Friday- A Special Poem…My Profile

    • Hi Joy
      Thank you for a most generous and thought out comment.
      Writing and speaking from your heart sounds like great advice to me and as for not being polished… don’t you believe it.
      Your words carry their own brilliance.

  14. Hi Keith
    thanks for reminding me to keep looking at your site. Our B6 assignment (Vocabulary and Word Pictures) is one which I feel is often allowed to be less than adequate. I particularly like your reference to adjectives. If your speech paints a picture it doesn’t necessarily have to be peppered indiscriminately with adjectives – some of the most emotive writing contains very few. Hope someone takes up the cudgel and gives some more views on this.

    • Hi Gwyneth
      You probably guessed that the Association of Speakers Clubs B6 assignment was the inspiration for this post.
      Word pictures are so important. They can turn a good speech into a great speech.
      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

  15. Hi Keith,

    Great site you have here. I love this post. Some of my favorite songs use a lot of metaphors. It’s amazing how much a phrase can pack comparing love with something more concrete, for instance. I’m thinking of that song “You make me smile” by Uncle Cracker. 🙂

    Jewel Allen´s last great post ..Talking ShopMy Profile

    • Hi Jewel
      Thanks for stopping by and thanks for a great comment.
      I’ve not heard “You make me smile” by Uncle Cracker but I Googled it…

      “You make me smile like the sun
      Fall out of bed
      Sing like a bird
      Dizzy in my head
      Spin like a record
      Crazy on a Sunday night
      You make me dance like a fool
      Forget how to breathe
      Shine like gold
      Buzz like a bee
      Just the thought of you can drive me wild
      Ohh you make me smile”

      Wow, powerful stuff!

  16. Keith, another excellent article! I have been so busy lately, I haven’t been able to keep up with all my regular reads! Yikes!

    Not only was your writing great as always, but the excerpts you pulled from famous speeches really showcased your points exactly. And they were nothing short of inspiring!
    Ryan´s last great post ..My Breakdown of the Web Design ProcessMy Profile

    • Hi Ryan
      Not surprised you’ve been busy.
      Your website design article must have taken you ages to write.
      And of course you must be preparing for that other little thing – your move to Sunny Southern California – some people have all the luck!
      Hope the move goes well and don’t forget to keep in touch.

      • Hi Keith,
        I am writing this from Sunny California right now, haha. The move is just about complete, so I can get back to spending way too much time on the internet. That means that you better be putting together some more great articles for me to read! I have some interviews coming up that I will be using some of your techniques with!
        Ryan´s last great post ..My Breakdown of the Web Design ProcessMy Profile

        • Welcome back Ryan – good to hear that the move went well.
          Good luck with your interviews, not that you need luck.
          Look forward to reading your articles on graphics and web design.
          BTW – don’t get too tanned over there in the sunshine – envy envy. LOL

  17. Hi Keith.

    A simple metaphor I like is the meadow along a country road. Am I seeing weeds? Or wildflowers?

    (And I do love metaphor — I think truth is often too big to be caught any other way, whether it be through music or words or pictures.)

    Another wonderful post. 🙂
    Barb Hartsook´s last great post ..It’s OK to Unfold GentlyMy Profile

    • Hi Barb
      I think sometimes that I learn more from the comments than I do from my own posts.
      Great to hear from you and thanks for a super comment.

  18. Wow….interesting lessons for me. Very timely for me because I have been hoping to make my writing more engaging after reading Joe Vitale’s book on Hypnotic Writing. You have made it simple for me to understand what the differences between similes, analogies and metaphors mean.
    Evelyn Lim´s last great post ..Inception Movie Review- Your Mind Is the Scene of the CrimeMy Profile

    • Hi Evelyn
      Glad I’ve simplified things.
      I tend to remember that similes tell you that two things are similar – works for me.
      Look forward to reading some of your new writing techniques on your blog.
      Many thanks for your comment.

  19. Keith: totally agree! the right images invoke a great emotional connection with your audience. Personally, I’ve been working on using better imagery in my presentations. I’ve given around ~40 presentations to date. I’d like to think that I’ve gotten better since my first one 🙂 And I spend a lot of time practicing and reviewing the presentation’s of others to see how I could improve myself and do something better.

    Still a work in progress but well on my way 🙂
    Ricardo Bueno´s last great post ..Why Intelligent People FailMy Profile

    • Hi Ricardo
      Great to have you back.
      40 presentations! You must be looking like a pro.
      Your point “a great emotional connection with your audience.” is what makes the difference between a good speech and a great speech.
      If you can find that connection… the audience will never forget.

      BTW – I’ll be over later to see what your latest post is all about.

  20. Hi Keith,

    Wow I really like this post and I think it’s important to incorporate this when writing as well, something that I need to start doing more of. I always like similes as they really make you think of what the image would really be in your mind. All of the content on your site would be great for an ebook. Will be looking out for one from you soon (hint hint)!

    Anna Haller´s last great post ..Golden Nuggets For NewbiesMy Profile

    • Hi Anna
      Or should I say eBook Anna?
      Similes and Metaphors are great tools for writers and speakers.
      Take a look at Jean Sarauer’s site (first comment on this post) she uses some great Metaphors that really add to her posts.

      BTW – you may have shamed me into starting that eBook.

  21. Hi Keith,
    What an informative post. I can see why your considered a master of public speaking.

    I’ll certainly consider your site a resource to come to from now on.

    Thanks so much,
    Angela Artemis
    Angela Artemis´s last great post ..Learn to Listen To Your Intuition and Never Miss An Opportunity Again!My Profile

  22. Keith: Wow. What great information. This is a great post and something that should definitely be bookmarked and referenced. I think I had forgotten the real importance of some of those techniques. It has been way too long since my last grammar lesson 🙂 Thanks again for the great info. Great post.

    • Welcome Sibyl
      Always good to have new visitors.
      I can remember doing all this stuff at school but it didn’t mean anything back then – wish I’d paid more attention.
      Hope you keep in touch.

  23. Keith,

    This is a good post for both speakers and writers. I always get confused about metaphors and analogies. I loved that explained what each imagery technique is and then gave examples from speeches.

    I’m not a public speaker, but this post has been very instructive. Thanks:~)
    Sara´s last great post ..Story Photo- End the StoryMy Profile

    • Hi Sara
      Good to have you back.
      I think that I’ve come to the same conclusion. Writing a speech is very similar to writing a post.
      Both use very similar techniques.
      Glad you liked the explanations and the examples.

  24. My writing teacher must have said 1,000 times, “One must paint the picture with your words.” sometimes she add the “whole picture” – it is drilled into my brain…

    very nice post
    Thank you for writing on my site, I appreciated your great comment

    • Welcome Patricia
      Your writing teacher sounds very posh… “One must paint the picture with your words.”
      But they were right, paint the right picture and your audience will never forget your speech.
      Thanks for your comment.
      Hope you will be a regular visitor.

  25. Keith,
    This post is extremely helpful. The examples for each make them easy to understand. Love your site, too. It’s a new favourite for me.
    SWrightBoucher´s last great post ..Free legal advice clinics returning to BCMy Profile

    • Hi Susan
      Great to have a new visitor and thanks for your generous comment.
      I like examples. I sometimes don’t follow the theory but a good example usually makes things clear.
      Hope you’ll be a regular – I’ll certainly be paying you a few visits.

  26. Wow! I love that to make your point that “pictures grab your attention” you used gorgeous pics to grab our attention. Well done! I also love how you added quotes and real life examples to make it clear. I’m not a public speaker right now but one never knows. You make it sound so easy…
    Loving blessings!
    Andrea DeBell – britetalk´s last great post ..One Single Step to HappinessMy Profile

    • Hi Andrea
      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a great comment.
      Glad you found the examples useful… if not for Public Speaking then just for general writing.
      Hope you’ll visit again.

  27. This sounds funny but the first thing I though of reading this was Sarah Palin’s remark about pit bulls and hockey moms – lipstick. I have no idea what else she said – but that part was funny! Great article. If ever I need to do some public speaking I’ll know where to go for advice.

    • Hi Heather
      Great example of how we remember concrete things, things we can visualise, rather than abstract ideas.
      Pit bulls, hockey mums, lipstick – easy to remember, difficult to forget.
      Appreciate your comment Heather – hope you drop in again.

  28. Hi Keith,

    Absolutely loved your post! How timely, as I just posted another story painting “word pictures.” I love doing that because it makes the point so much more memorable.

    Thanks for a great post!

    Ilka Flood´s last great post ..Drop That Grimy Tennis Ball and Get Rid of Your Limiting BeliefsMy Profile

    • Hi Ilka
      Appreciate you leaving a comment and as you say… so timely. Your last post was a great example of using “word pictures” to make a point and to make it memorable.
      Hope you will be a regular visitor.

  29. I’ve not really thought about using these techniques in speech although I’ve heard lots about using them in writing. Your suggestions will be valuable to me as I start to use video in blogging.
    I also enjoyed reading the many quotes you included.
    James´s last great post ..Why Backing Up Your Computer Is Like Flossing TeethMy Profile

    • Hi James
      Good luck with your videos… look forward to seeing them.
      Hope the techniques help.
      Appreciate your comment and look forward to seeing you again.

  30. Hi Keith .. throughts – that’s what! Couldn’t even type! .. still struggle ..

    Sold the house, had nowhere to go – now I’m settled again ..talk about mental chaos! & my mother back in hospital – not once, but twice .. second time for two weeks over my move ..

    Still somewhat brain dead .. but this move is the start of the next stage for the future .. just lots to do – to get back on the right track ..

    So colouring your quotes .. I love these and have always wanted to remember lines, quotes etc .. I have to do a quick google to bring them up!

    My brain works in wondrous ways .. but not remembering others’ words!

    Thanks .. this is great and having read your more recent post on your visit to the Globe .. you’re bringing public speaking to life – just what so many of us need .. I know where to come for some excellent advice and information ..

    Enjoy the last of the summer wine and weather .. by the sound of it – lovely down here today … cheers – Hilary
    Hilary´s last great post ..Glyphs- Ps and Qs- Murder My Profile

    • Hi Hilary
      Sounds as though you have been super busy… glad things have settled down a bit.

      I never remember quotes in a speech, in fact I make a point of letting people know that I’m reading. Sort of reinforces the fact that they aren’t my words.

      This blog is all about bringing Public Speaking out of the shadows and making it available to everyone… even the seriously timid.

      “Enjoy the last of the summer wine and weather”… summer wine gone forever (sad), but summer will return next year.

      Thanks for your comment H.

  31. Hi Keith, have been rather busy lately but after reading your latest posts including this one with the valuable contributions they stimulate, I will be dipping into your words of wisdom on a more regular basis. This post was particularly inspiring (think you must have been inspired when you wrote it). It brought the rules of grammar to life and gave them real meaning, especially when linked with humourous examples. I laughed out loud with the PG Wodehouse “he made a noise like a pig swallowing half a cabbage! We all probably know someone who fits this image! Like everyone else I look forward to your ebook.

    • Hi Carol and thanks for your comment.

      I went over to Sans Souci Speakers Club tonight hoping to hear you speak… but you weren’t there!

      Heard three great speeches and some very good evaluations.

      See you next time.

  32. Hi Keith,

    Your whole post is great but I am sitting here guilt stricken over the amount of adjectives I employ! My darling, sparkling, lush little adjectives!

    It’s true–it’s just too much
    Adena Atkins´s last great post ..A Week of Unitasking- Part 1My Profile

    • Hi Adena
      I think we all do – it’s what we are taught at school.

      If you find yourself near a good bookshop take a peak at the William Zinsser book “On Writing Well” it really is a delight to read.

      It’s not a Speech writing book but I use many of the ideas he mentions.

      I’m off now to unitask with a glass of white wine – or maybe even a cup of your ginseng tea. LOL

  33. Start your speeches with something that will get the attention of your audience. Say something that will show your sense of humor and elicit laughter.Good eye contact is important.

  34. easyP is the most shareable blog on the net!
    Because of meaty masterful posts like this one!

    “All the yesterdays are cancelled checks (in your case, “cheques”)” is something I’ve touted to almost everyone in my intimate circle of influence. No wonder the following caught my eye:

    “Opportunity eagerly stretches out her arms to us. As we open our eyes each morning, she forgets and forgives any neglect of the past. Each night we burn the records of the day; at sunrise, every soul is born again.”
    Cavett Robert

    If someone can’t grasp how to create word pictures in their speeches from all you’ve shared here, Keith, I say …
    “Go back and re-read it again. Not one button is missing from this shirt.” 🙂
    Melanie Kissell @SoloMompreneur´s last great post ..Out With The Trash And In With The TreasuresMy Profile

  35. Hi Keith, long time no see (and thanks to Melanie Kissell for posting the link to this article).

    All great points above and I love the idea of bringing imagery into my presentation though I think personally that’s the least of my problems, lol!

    But I am making progress! I’ve recently challenged myself to record all my Table Topics so that I get to crack the back of them (remember we were discussing that before?). Anyhow, I write about it on my blog below (with videos) in case you or anyone else here wants to critique (I’d be honoured).

    All the best, Roz

  36. “He is to the English language as the iceberg was to the Titanic.” It’s one of my favourites, and was made in honour of George W. Bush after yet another magnificently mangled public address. To my shame, I now can’t remember precisely who made it.

    Great blog post!