Ummm, what’s your point?

March 18, 2017

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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.

How to get your point across in a story.

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:

  1. Let people know the point of the story before you tell it. If you’re using a story to illustrate a specific idea, let them know the idea and the story are connected.

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….

  1. When you get to the part of the story where your personal courage transforms your business (some speakers call this the payoff) make sure to use the same or similar wording to remind your audience that this is the important turning point of the story

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…

  1. Repeat your point at the end of the story. After all, you’re telling people this story for a reason. So remind them of that reason.

Example: “…and this is why personal courage needs to be an important part of your life as an entrepreneur.

  1.  Follow your story up with a relevant question for the audience. This shows them how the story relates to them.

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?

Keep your audience engaged

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.