The Merriam Webster dictionary defines the word “lyrical” as being an adjective that denotes something that expresses beauty and or strong emotion. Imagine communicating your ideas in such a fashion. That’s exactly what the skill of lyrical expression allows you to do.
Communicating with a lyrical sense is something that everyone can do with a little bit of practice, and a few simple “tricks” that nearly anyone can use. If you’re worried about mastering the technique of lyrical expression, don’t be. With these simple ideas, you’ll become an expert in no time at all.
What Exactly is Lyrical Expression?
Before we show you how to express yourself lyrically, we probably should define what we mean by that term. A lyrical expression is the ability to use your skills as a communicator to express your point in a way that instills a specific type of emotion, or beauty, or intensity to your audience. Think of the last time you heard a motivational speaker or even a politician. Chances are they used a lyrical expression to try to convince you of something or make an emotional investment in their ideals.
But the lyrical expression isn’t just the domain of speechwriters or stadiums filled with adoring fans. It can also be used in a much more intimate setting, with a much smaller audience. It is something that you can use in your everyday life.
How to Use Lyrical Expression
The first step to using lyrical expression effectively is to realize that communication has both information and emotion attached to it. You want to convey an idea, and you want to instill an emotional response. The words you use, as well as your body language, gestures, facial expressions, and posture, can all be used to accomplish those two goals. Let’s start with the simpler of those two things – the words you choose.
Words have both a definitive meaning as well as a connotative one. The traditional definition is pretty universal in the language, depending on context and usage. For example, the word “lion” is more or less understood to definitively mean a large feline species where the females hunt in a group, and the male cat has a large mane and protects the pride from an attack on the plains of Africa.
But what does the word lion mean connotatively? Well, in most situations, the word lion denotes bravery, a fierceness, and steadfastness in the face of danger. The phrase “in like a lion and out like a lamb” describes the month of March. It signifies to most people that the beginning of March is filled with fierce and violent storms roaring down the horizon and throughout the skies. And depending on where you live, it just may be that way.
By understanding a word’s connotative meaning, you can get a sense of its lyrical value as well. Let’s take a look at the word “mouse”. If you wanted to instill a sense of bravery and confidence in someone, you probably wouldn’t describe them as a mouse to their face. Why? Because of the significance of timidity that the word “mouse” has been associated with it. The phrase “timid as a mouse” is a common one for that very reason. If you call someone a mouse, chances are that they’ll think you see them as a timid thing, incapable of taking action. Not exactly a great way to motivate someone.
So when you want to express yourself lyrically, be conscious of the words you chose.
The Song of Your Speech
Another aspect of lyrical expression that most people overlook when crafting a message to convey is how the words sound to the listener’s or reader’s ear. Stories with a rhythmic expression are designed to evoke a strong emotional response or to give a sense of beauty. So while choosing the right words is vital, how you deliver them is also essential.
Thankfully, there is a straightforward trick to help you deliver your message more lyrically. Sing it! Now don’t worry; you don’t have to be an opera star to do this. Just take a familiar tune – such as “Mary had a little Lamb” and use it by putting your words in the place of the lyrics. What happens?
By putting your words to song, you’ll quickly see where the natural pauses are in the pattern, where words could be said faster or slower for emphasis. You’ll discover the cadence or song of your speech, and where you can alter it to get the effect you want. Then it’s just a matter of practice, practice, and you guessed it, more practice.
A lyrical expression isn’t something to fear. Just remember – every act of communication has both information and emotion attached to it, words have both definitive and connotative meanings, and your verbal speech should have a cadence associated with the feelings you are trying to convey.