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How to Tell a Story in Your Professional Speaking Presentation
- Stories serve many purposes in your presentation. They can by used to highlight and clarify a specific point you want to address in your presentation. Stories can also reemphasize those points in your message to stress their importance.
- Stories should be relevant to your topic. The stories should also match the audience's needs and wants in terms of intelligence levels, experiences, and other demographic data such as age and occupation. The stories should be relatable to your audience and easy to understand.
- Telling a story can change the pace of your message. Stories can serve as a mental break for your audience so they can process the information they've been given.
- Humorous stories are great presentation openers and can set the tone of your message. Tell about problems and errors that you've made. Audiences like self-effacing humor because they can see themselves making the same mistakes or having the same issues.
- Get rid of unnecessary details of your story in your presentation. You can potentially lose your audience with all those details and if they serve no purpose, then get rid of them.
- Use short humorous stories in your presentation. If your story is too long or you take too long in getting to the punch line, your audience could tune you out.
- Tell where your story happened. Give your audience concrete information to think about and draw their own mental image in their mind.
- Use things that your audience is well associated with in your story. Your audience should be familiar with all the details of your story to they can remain hooked into it, however, only be as detailed as is common knowledge. Specific knowledge or "insider information" will not be relatable to most people since only a few people know about it.
- Let your words work for you. Emphasize adjectives and verbs so that they are more interesting to your audience.
- Rehearse your story telling. Every word counts and leaving out details can impact whether the story relates to your audience or not.
- Get the emotions involved in your storytelling. Hook your audience into your story by playing on their emotions.
Storytelling is not a difficult element to add to your professional speaking presentation. By practicing, you will be able to add more stories to your presentation to liven it up and change the pace. You will find that your audience will become more engaged in what you're saying because they can mentally relate better to your information. As you tell your stories, they will have mental images playing in their minds. They will also see themselves in the stories you tell and have it relate better to them. Start by adding one short story and then grow your story telling abilities from there.
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