The body of a presentation consists of facts, and stories supporting those facts.
A Story, in this context, is a description designed to interest, amuse, or instruct the audience. Narratives are excellent for clarifying messages because those hearing them go into the hard drive of their brains and find files similar to the tale.
The connections made between the story being told and the receiver’s personal experience is
far better than just hearing facts or looking at statistics.
I’m writing this during a pandemic.
Consider these statements:
- We hear statistics about rising infection rates, hospitalizations, and deaths.
- We see charts with all those horrific incidences going up and up.
- We watch and listen to videos, see photos, and hear the personal stories of husbands, grandparents, police officers. Some have died and others were hospitalized for a long time. We’re told about their life, illness, and perhaps death, and the impact it has on family, friends, co-workers, and others.
Tell Stories to reinforce points in your talk.
Suppose one of the points you are making is honesty.
To support that attribute, you could talk about Abe Lincoln. According to one story, whenever he realized he had shortchanged a customer by a few pennies, he would close the shop and deliver the correct change, regardless of how far he had to walk.
You could also talk about George Washington. Legend has it that when George Washington’s father asked him whether he’d chopped down his cherry tree, young Washington said, “I cannot tell a lie, I did it with my little hatchet.”
Those are both great stories. They reinforce the point of honesty.
The problem is, most people have heard them.
Here’s the solution:
- Have you ever noticed a clerk or server forgot to charge for something and brought it to their attention?
- Have you confessed to breaking something when you might have been silent and no one would know?
Tell your experience about one of these events!
Most hearing your story will have a similar one and the point you are making will help them GET IT!
Personal stories are best for reinforcing points because NO ONE,
unless you’ve given permission, can tell your story.
Follow this advice and use personal stories to reinforce the points in the body of your speech
and I guarantee it will be absolutely, positively – NO SWEAT!
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