Over the holidays I will be posting very useful and practical speaking & presentation tips on the 10xSpeaker blog and on my Linkedin profile (connect with me!) and #10xSpeaker hashtag (follow the hashtag!) to help you take your presentation skills & public speaking to the next level so that you make an even better start to 2021!
One of the common questions I get from people wanting to improve their public speaking and presentation skills is:
"How do I use a story in my presentation that makes a powerful point... in time!?" - because we tend to ramble on and never get to the point when sharing a story...
... and the other person says: "GET TO THE POINT...!" - Right?
One big mistake I see often are aspiring speakers skipping the story and going straight to the point.
Just give them what they want right? Give them the point, go straight to the finish line and let's not waste their time with the story. This is bad practice and likely a reflection of poor storytelling skills. It's like a marathon runner just crossing the finishing line without running the marathon! What's the point of that? ;)
Well let me give you some powerful tips that will really help you tell better stories and make powerful points.
Remember: Your audience WANTS the point but NEEDS the story.
The story allows them to become emotionally connected with the point you want them to remember. The information they are actually going to learn and take with them because they can remember it.
Emotions are the glue that makes memories stick so you need the story for them to have an emotional response that will help them remember the point you are making.
The is the process you can use to get to the point faster and more effectively when sharing a story:
Step 1. Be clear on the point you want to make BEFORE you start telling your story. This is the biggest and most important takeaway for you. If you are not clear on the point before you start, you will likely never get to the point in time and confuse your audience.
Step 2. Share a story that actually makes this point. Obvious one but sometime we use the wrong story! A story journal really helps with this process (described in lesson 8 of the 10xSpeaker course). The story is your teaching instrument to make the point that your audience will learn from.
Step 3. Always set a time limit to deliver your story and point (described in lesson 5 of the 10xSpeaker course). Usually under 5 minutes in a 20-30 minute keynote, which is made up of 3-4 key stories. This is to prevent you from dragging on forever and loosing the audiences attention and respect! With a time limit per story you are more likely and determined to complete the story within this time frame and make the point. Brevity is key to powerful speaking.
Step 4. Make the point and move on to your next story and point. Don't try to validate the point. That communicates doubt, insecurity and may loose you some credibility and trust with your audience. Let the story make the point and move on. Just improve your story if your point is not powerful enough.
Remember that if you are not clear on the point you want to make and don't have a plan to deliver a point to your story, you will likely ramble on and people will loose interest. This is where most amature speakers are at.
You can really 10x your public speaking ability and storytelling proficiency by simply connecting to, and being clear on the point you want to make with your story BEFORE you start sharing the story. This is the key.
Was this useful for you? What are your thoughts? Have you developed ways to get to the point effectively when telling a story? ... comment below!
To learn more about story mapping where I describe how to use story/points, watch lesson 5 of the free 10xSpeaker online course - it's free!
Chris Baldwin, PhD
Did you like this blog post? Give it a like on Facebook and leave a comment below!