Storytelling is a major part of a speaker’s toolkit, and that is what the participants in The Speech Class Refresher program learned yesterday at Resource One Credit Union. You can see the participants below, along with myself and Randy Mayeux, from Creative Communication Network.
There are several reasons that stories are so important for speakers to develop and include in every presentation:
- They are memorable. You may long forget who said it, when, what for, or anything else, but you never forget the story itself.
- They are editable. You can make a story as short or long as you wish, by including or excluding details.
- They are conversational. You don’t need notes to tell a story. In most cases, you are the only person who knows the story! Just talk. Tell it like you would to a friend.
These are the stories we used yesterday, each between 90 seconds and 3 minutes.
- “The best time I ever had….”
- “The time I was most surprised…”
- “My most embarrassing moment….”
- “Something I wish I could do over is…”
All the participants did well, and we heard some great stories!
Do you have a “signature” story? Do you use it when you speak? If not, you are omitting one of the most powerful tools available to you. The great news is that you already have it! Just call it up and use it. You will do yourself and your audience a great favor.
It is an ancient need to be told stories. But the story needs a great storyteller. Thanks for all of it, Jo.
Alan Rickman, speaking to/of Jo Rowling, shortly after his “final moments” as Severus Snape
In Encouraging the Heart, Kouzes and Posner write:
Marshall McLuhan is reported to have said, “Those who think there’s a difference between education and entertainment don’t know the first thing about either one.”
Good stories move us. They touch us, they teach us, and they cause us to remember. They enable the listener to put the behavior in a real context and understand what has to be done in that context to live up to expectations.
We need more, a lot more!, good communication going on in the corporate world. This is a really nice reminder that story – good storytelling – is at the heart of all good communication.
Here’s the full letter: