Have you ever heard a speaker tell a long, involved story and think to yourself, “What was the point of this?”
Telling stories to connect with your audience can work wonders, but if you don’t have a strong point to make, then you’re likely turning off your audience and leaving money on the table. And remember, the point of the story may be clear to you, but it also needs to be crystal clear to your audience.
So let’s say you were going to tell a longer story about the importance of personal courage in business. Your first step is to make sure that your story clearly illustrates that point. Your second step is to include “signposts” in your story to help your audience follow what you’re saying. Here’s how:
Example: “So now that we’ve talked about personal courage, I want to tell you a story that illustrates how this courage can be a game changer for your business….”
Example: “My situation required me to make a difficult decision – and I decided that for once I would be brave and courageous. Here’s what happened…”
Example: “…and this is why personal courage needs to be an important part of your life as an entrepreneur.”
Example: “ Now I want you to ask yourself this question. Where in my business do I need more courage? And what will having that courage help me to accomplish?”
These four techniques can help your listeners remain focused during a longer story. If you follow some or all of these tips, you’ll be amazed at how much better your story lands with the audience. It will also improve the effectiveness of your talk overall.
Being explicit about the point of your story is important when speaking to sell. You need to not only entertain your audience but also get them to take action at the end of your talk.
They likely won’t do that, if they’re still trying to figure out what the heck you were trying to say.
If you’re interested in learning how I can help you create better stories for you talk, book a free 20 minute session with me by clicking here.