I was amazed when I read that 70 per cent of what we learn is through stories – but it makes perfect sense. We are hard-wired for narrative – it’s how the human brain works, how we make sense of the world and our lives. So if you want to connect with an audience through public speaking, then tell a story.
But why is it so important to tell YOUR story?
- Stories draw upon our universal need for connection; in some fundamental sense we need stories.
- One of the most powerful ways of inspiring others is by using the one tool you have that no one else has – your life story. Your individual experience of the world is the most valuable asset you possess.
- And, despite what you may have been told in business, these days character trumps credentials.
- Telling your story – with all its challenges, mistakes, failures, pain, setbacks as well as its joys, successes and victories – says something about what it means to be human. Telling your story can even inspire others to take the first step on their path to becoming a public speaker!
As a graduate of Ginger’s Inspiring Speakers programme and advocate of the power of story, I practise what I preach. The 10-minute speech I delivered at my Gala Finale was directly from my Book of Life – and I won the People’s Choice award. It proved to me that people switch off when they hear too much information, data or statistics. Punchy facts and figures that illustrate your argument are great – but if you add in a personal story, that becomes a dynamite mix.
What might surprise you is that the more personal the story, the more universal it becomes. If you allow yourself to be vulnerable and authentic the audience will be able to locate them
selves in your story – even if your life experience has been very different to theirs.
Simple is best!
When deciding on which story or stories to tell, the key is to keep it simple. Don’t get bogged down in the detail – engage your inner editor and focus on the elements that will underline your message or engage the emotions of the audience – preferably both!
In future blogs I’ll be looking at mining for stories and sharing a few tips that I’ve picked up along the way during my 35 years as a multi-tasking journalist and editor. And if you need some one-to-one story TLC, book a session with me – details are here.
Everyone has a story to tell, and I’d love to hear yours!
Beverley Glick, Ginger’s Public Speaking Story Telling Coach
Want more on how to master the art of story telling?
If you’re eager to become a more inspiring, colorful, confident speaker, Ginger has a multitude of courses just right for you! From freebies to e-courses, books to workshops, jump in to Ginger. Click here for a full list of Ginger courses and resources.
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