Stories: Secret Sauce for Powerful Speeches

Storytelling is a tool for powerful presentations. Everyone has a story. Share your story to persuade and convince your audience.
February 23, 2020
Stories are the secret sauce for powerful speeches and presentations.
Stories connect people and make for powerful speeches. because everyone has a story.

Storytelling is the best way to capture hearts and minds and bring people together around shared experiences. So, it’s no wonder that stories are the secret sauce of powerful speeches and presentations.  Storytelling has permanently entered the marketing lexicon. Browse the list of business best sellers and you will see an assortment of titles touting storytelling as one of the most effective ways to connect with customers.

Those who tell the stories rule the world.

Hopi Native American proverb

Stories are the way we navigate the world, starting in early childhood.  It’s how we explain our existence. There’s much research to support this fact. From a 30-second elevator pitch to a full-blown keynote address, it’s the stories these contain that makes them memorable and effective. And, the same goes for powerful speeches and presentations.

According to Cognitive psychologist Jerome Bruner, stories help us remember facts 22 times better than data on a chart or list. Why? Because stories are more easily processed neurologically. Stories help us get to the meat of an idea better than hard numbers.  They trigger memories and emotions.  Stories are more likely to ignite the passion that will get your audience to act.

You might be thinking, I am not a natural storyteller.  I’m not funny, I don’t have any stories to tell.  Guess what—none of that matters.  Stories are everywhere—you just need to pay attention and use some imagination.  Stories can be real or fictional.

Stories feature transformation and have a clear structure.  A beginning, middle and end.  It’s how audiences have been moved since the time of Aristotle. Take Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling who said: “The stories we love best live in us forever.”

You can start your storytelling journey by looking at your own experiences. We’ve all had failures and successes, joy and disappointment, peace and conflict.  If you are human, you have stories with which people can identify.  And if your life has been one big bore, find someone else’s story to tell. But make it the right story—the one that makes your business case and drives your point home with emotion.  Because without emotion you have no story.  Without feeling, it’s just a case study.

Start your own personal story journal or create a story bank from news sources and other people’s accounts.  Use them wisely for the right occasion and you will be on your way to Presentation Bliss.

Watch the companion video to this article.

For more tips like these visit my website at rosemaryravinal.com

Rosemary Ravinal

I teach business leaders how to shine on video calls and have more productive virtual engagement. As Founder/Chief Trainer at RMR Communications Consulting, I also help executives master the art of public speaking, inspiring presentations, and authoritative media interviews online and in person. My company’s services are available in English and Spanish in South Florida and elsewhere.

You might also be interested in

How to tame your fear of public speaking

How to tame your fear of public speaking

Ensuring that everyone can understand what you say will improve your presence and impact. Here are six ways to improve the audio quality of your video calls.

7 Secrets of great presentations

7 Secrets of great presentations

Unless you put the audience first and show them what is in it for them, your presentation—no matter how attractive and colorful—will fall flat.

Rosemary Ravinal

Let me help you speak, engage, and persuade like a pro in person and online in English and Spanish.

Your success in the new normal of work depends on how well you navigate virtual and in-person communication.

Your success in the new normal of work depends on how well you navigate virtual and in-person communication.

Let me help you. Sign up to receive my weekly newsletter with techniques to become a better public speaker and improve your professional presence and impact everywhere.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Join thousands of professionals who are evolving withthe new normal.

Join my mailing list to receive pro communication tips on how to convey your presence in the new hybrid work environment.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Shares
Share This