The Game Master As Public Speaker

From Johnn Four

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #0004

In opinion polls, people fear speaking in public more than they do dying. Even though game mastering is not quite the same as public speaking, I admit I still felt a twinge of nervousness this past September when I set-up my GM screen after a year-long hiatus and started a brand new campaign.

I think it’s of great value to view game mastering as a form of public speaking and for you to constantly look for ways to improve your public speaking, or “game master oratory”, skills.

Last week we discussed a very simple, yet powerful, technique to add impact to your voice. Here are three more easy and effective public speaking tips to add impact to your sessions:

  • Eye contact. Look your players in the eye to make them feel connected to you and draw them more personally into your game.
  • Use gestures. Make purposeful hand, face and body gestures to add colour to your words. Gestures increase your own energy and enthusiasm as well as bring your stories to life.
  • Be enthusiastic. Your enthusiasm will raise the energy level at the whole table. It is very infectious and everybody will have more fun.

As your game sessions go on, it’s too easy to sit back in your chair, slouch your shoulders and bury your head in books and charts. By using eye contact, gestures and enthusiasm though, you will add a whole new level of on- going energy that your players will bounce back to you. Your speaking will have much more impact and everyone will have a great time.

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