What speechwriters can learn from Cirque du Soleil

You needn’t perform acrobatics or pratfalls; there are less risky maneuvers that can make your presentation memorable.

Cirque du Soleil combines drama, pageantry, acrobatics and live music into a thrilling treat for the senses. But mesmerized audiences are far less aware of the role that communications plays in crafting the excitement on stage.

Take, for instance, Mystère, the Cirque du Soleil show in residence at Treasure Island in Las Vegas. In the course of every performance, acrobats, comedians, singers and musicians create an out-of-this-world experience for viewers. Underscoring the action is a solid foundation of communication crafted to keep the audience engaged and focused on the magic rather than on the technique.

Chances are you won’t be able to persuade your speaker to do a double backflip at the end of a speech. What you can do, however, is apply some lessons drawn from Mystère to write a better script.

Start charming the audience beforehand

At a Mystère performance, the action begins while the houselights are still bright. Clowns appear in the aisles, where they interact with people waiting for the show to begin. The result is laughter and applause. In a matter of minutes, the isolated groups of families, friends and couples come together as a single audience with a common purpose—to have some fun. As they do, the atmosphere in the theater warms up.

To read the full story, log in.
Become a Ragan Insider member to read this article and all other archived content.
Sign up today

Already a member? Log in here.
Learn more about Ragan Insider.