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5 Tips for Storytelling in Public Speaking

Public speaking in an interview

 

Your Main Job as a Public Speaker

When you have a message to deliver, it can be easy to lose sight of the story you actually want to tell. However, if you are looking for a solid approach to storytelling in public speaking, check out these five tips.

As a public speaker, it’s your job to get people excited about your topic and convince them of your arguments. But if you are like most people, you are probably worried that your speech will not be interesting enough or that you’ll forget what to say. 

This is where storytelling can help. The purpose of a story is not just to entertain, but to make an emotional connection with your audience.

Why Stories Work in Public Speaking

First, something I am sure you have heard before, but always worth repeating (and remembering): humans are hard-wired to pay attention to stories. Stories have been around since the beginning of time, and they continue to shape our perception of the world around us. 

Our view of stories is changing as more and more people watch TV series and movies in places other than movie theaters or living rooms. But even in a world where tablets and smartphones have replaced printed books, storytelling remains a human activity. We tell stories to teach, to entertain, to explain, and to persuade. 

Today, stories have become a powerful tool to connect with people and influence their thinking. Successful storytellers are those who can create a sense of empathy in their listeners. This is true for public speakers as well – whether on stage, in podcasts, on YouTube, on the radio, or in any of the myriad other speaking opportunities.

How Storytelling Can Build Trust

Many small businesses and tech companies are hesitant to tell stories because they think they sound too much like sales pitches. But storytelling is the “silent partner” of effective corporate communications. It’s important to be a good storyteller to build trust with your customers. 

In fact, the best way to build trust is to tell compelling stories. As a business owner, you can tell your story to build trust and authority. You need to tell your story in a way that makes sense so customers understand what you do and why you do it.

Stories Give Meaning to the World Around Us – and to Your Business

Effective storytelling requires knowing exactly what drives the story. It’s important to know why people act the way they do and what drives them. Storytelling works because it helps us understand the world around us and ourselves.

Storytelling makes sense of the world.

That’s why storytelling is a great way to get your brand’s message across. Knowing how to tell a story will help you find the right words for your business and get your point across.

How to Tell Better Stories When Public Speaking

The following are some tips on how to tell a good story when speaking in public:

1. Use Emotion Instead of Reason. When telling a story, do not try to use logic or reason at the expense of your central message. Instead, focus on emotion and make sure you use it properly. 

For example, if you want to talk about an old friend who recently passed away, do not say, “He was such a nice guy.” Instead, describe his last moments in life by saying something like this, “He called me one day when he was sick and said he really wanted to see me. He told me he loved me and that one day we would go out together and have fun.” This kind of emotional language is much more effective than a rational, dry explanation.

2. Focus on the Present Moment. Do not dwell on the past or worry about the future. If you do, you will lose your audience completely. Instead, let your story take place in the present moment and let it speak for itself!

3, Make It Personal. Tell stories that show your customers’ lives through their eyes, rather than just describing things from a company perspective or someone else’s point of view. Tell stories about people who are like them or maybe a little older than them. You can also tell about yourself if it’s appropriate, as this can add a human element to your brand.

4, Make It Interesting. The best story in the world is boring if it’s not delivered properly. So practice the main lines of your presentation until you know them inside and out. You want your audience to be captivated from the first sentence, and when you are done, you want them wanting more! Why “main lines?” Because you should always leave some room for improvisation and ad hoc to respond to “the room” and make your talk come alive. 

5. Stay True to Yourself. One of the most important tips is to be yourself. Do not try too hard to be funny or something you are not, because people can see right through that. Be natural and use your everyday speech patterns and you will do fine.

Recap

Mastering the art of storytelling is an important skill that can help you succeed in any career. Whether you are trying to convince your boss to give you a raise or convince a potential client, telling a good story can help you get what you want.

The tips above can help you become a better storyteller when you speak in public. Remember: keep your stories personal, use emotion instead of logic, tell them in the present tense, let people have their say, and most importantly, be yourself!

As a public speaker, you know that storytelling is one of the most important skills you can develop. But storytelling is not just good for your speaking repertoire. It’s also an indispensable tool to help you connect with your audience and convince them to trust your message in other forms of communication.

Have fun with your storytelling!

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