Everybody Loves a Good Story!
5 Ways to include a story in your speech!
Most people tend to outline speeches in terms of the information to be presented – and stop there. But, there’s a tiny facet about the human brain speakers would do well to understand. We remember information much better if we can associate the topic with a story. Let’s take a small quiz right now.
First, name three movies that you’ve seen in the past two years that contained scenes that resonated with you.
Second, name three speeches/presentations you’ve heard in the same two years that had points that resonated with you.
If you could complete the second part of the quiz, you’ve heard some pretty good speakers! Almost without a doubt, each of those presenters told stories that caused you to connect with them.
Here are five basic guidelines for using stories in your presentation:
1. Good stories include a dilemma that must be overcome. The story line is the path to the solution.
2. Pick your story in accordance with your audience. Think about your topic, along with what the likes and dislikes of the crowd might entail.
3. Humor is greatly appreciated by an audience, but what might be funny to one crowd may not be to another.
4. The audience will love you for making your stories personal. Use your own experiences to poke fun at yourself, expose your fears, habits or misunderstandings. Most people immediately identify the frailties of being human. It’s perfectly fine to try different voices for different characters. You can also try pausing for effect or talking faster to raise the stress of your story.
5. Be sure your story has a point/segue related to your topic. If it doesn’t add to the speech, cut it out. Also, if your story goes on for too long, you can lose the attention of your audience. Good storytelling is active and direct.
As with most things concerning presentations, practice is the key to creating informative and entertaining speeches. Rehearse in front of a trusted friend or group. Whatever you do, don’t leave stories out of your speaking arsenal!