by Craig Valentine
In-between time is what I refer to as the time between your major points. Of course you need to use this time to transition into the next story or example, but how you use this time can make the difference between a dry speech and an exciting one. One effective way you can use in-between time is to add more humor. Hopefully your stories have humor as well, and if you add humor between these stories, then your audience will really enjoy your speech.
For example, immediately after one story and just before the next one I may relate the following to add humor:
There’s a lady that used to work for me and she liked to tell me all of her problems. One day she said, “Craig, I’m sick of guys.” I said, “Oh no, here she goes again. What’s wrong?” She said, “All the guys I date are always the same.” I said, “What do you mean?” She said, “The last five guys I dated all had drinking problems.” I said, “Really? Where do you meet them?” She said, “At the bars!” I said, “Well, if you stop going to Drinkers R Us, then you might find a good man.”
[Now completely facing the audience] You know what the key to her situation is? If she wants to keep getting what she’s getting, she should keep doing what she’s doing. Ladies and gentlemen [I step forward to make my point] if you ever want to change what you are getting, all you have to do is change what you are doing, and most people are not using their gifts!
At that point I transition into a story about using your gifts. Therefore, this not only adds to the humor (just a little bit in this case) but also helps you transition smoothly from story to story. Sooner than you think, you will have humor in your stories, transitions, and in those magical spontaneous moments. The audience will certainly have a great time during the learning process.
Here are some other ways to use this valuable in-between time:
- Quick joke
- Repeat after me
- An emotional thought or a powerful quote
- A rhetorical question (to keep them thinking)
- Some audience participation
- Some spontaneity based on the audience’s responses
- A very quick story
- A strong transitional statement
Whatever you do during the in-between time, make sure you practice it and make it a valuable part of your speech.
The other major benefit of the in-between time is that it gives the audience enough time and enough of a break in the intensity of your last story to digest your last point. It is like they are taking a breath and then preparing themselves for some more of your message. Now they can enjoy the break as well!
Remember: Use your in-between time to insert something special for your speech.