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Home » Business Presentation Skills Training, presentation skills training, Public Speaking Tips, speaking tips, Uncategorized

Quick Tips: Telling Great Stories in Business Presentations

Not just any story – what makes a really really great story? Here are the critical elements:
1. Use material that speaks to you. Almost any area of your life can be a source for a story – a trip, an adventure, a family gathering, a success, a failure, etc.The important thing is that it should ignite emotion within. You have to “feel” the story in order to tell it well.

2. Set the scene.Describe the details in three dimensions: help your audience to see the story as though it’s happening right now, help them to experience the story through descriptive words, and help your listeners to experience some type of impact as a result of listening to the story.

3. The story should end with a clear and relatable message.

A few years ago I listened to a professional storyteller tell the tale of how the rabbit lost its tail. He was talking to a group of about 35 children all seated on the grass in a park setting. They were mesmerized for the entire 45-minute story as he painted verbal pictures and skillfully crafted his vocal inflection to match the feeling of each word. Wow! They were spellbound. Afterward, I asked him what his secret was to capturing that attention and how could he remember all the vivid details of such a long story. He said that his method is very simple. As he is learning a story, he imagines that there is film rolling in his stomach as he remembers every vivid detail. Then he imagines that he rewinds the film. He said that the story is then “in the vault” for later storytelling, and he just rolls the film when it’s time to tell the story again. He lets his words match the feeling.

The next time you want to tell a story, paint the pictures, convey feelings with your vocal inflection, and relate the message to your audience.

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