In the theater, an "aside" is something said to the audience that is not to be heard by the other
actors. "Asides" are another device to use in your art of public speaking.
If the aside was delivered on a television sitcom, the actor would look right at the camera and
talk to the viewers at home instead of talking to the other actors. In children's television such as
"Blue's Clues", asides are used frequently as the man talks about Blue to you.
To an art of public speaking public speaker it means a temporary departure from the main
theme or topic.
If you get good at this technique, the audience will think you are a genius. And genius is integral
to the art of public speaking.
The way it works is that you begin telling a story or delivering information on a certain topic.
Then you go off on a tangent (aside) indirectly related to the main theme. When you have finished
the aside, you pick up the main theme where you left off and keep right on going. Often times this aside provides rich, varied, and valuable background information for the listener.
At first, the audience may think you are lost or confused when you leave the original topic, but when you return to the main line after the aside, they realize you are in total control, and you know your subject backwards and forwards. This is very impressive.
Great storytellers are able to take you down several auxiliary paths, but still move you along the main path from beginning to conclusion. Being a great storyteller is also what you are all about in the
art of public speaking.
I tell a story about some medical work I had done where the doctor said to me, "This will just pinch a little bit."
This phrase sends me down a whole different path talking about how my dentist had said the same thing and then pushed the Novacaine needle up into my brain, twisted it around, and pulled it out. (Another humorous aside: To clarify, he pulled out the needle, not my brain, but then again sometimes my girlfriend says, "He sucked that out too, but it only took a small needle." hahaha Isn't she the comedi-anne?)
I then came back to the main line of the medical story until I got to the word gauze. This word sets off another tangential story about my mother ripping gauze off me. Then it is back to the main line again.
You can alert the audience of an upcoming aside by saying the word "incidentally" or even "An aside to that is this...", before you veer off the main path.
Another good technique in doing asides is to go to a different side of the stage when you start to share an aside.
Get good at sharing asides and you will add a new dimension to the way you tell your funny stories or deliver information.
As an aside, becoming great in the art of public speaking means becoming a great storyteller, telling of great truths and human triumphs.