Those of you who know me (or who read this blog on a regular basis) know that I love to tell stories. Stories are a great way to captivate, motivate, and make an emotional connection with your audience whether it’s a 500-person keynote presentation or a one-on-one conversation.
Telling a personal story makes your presentation even more interesting, and your audience will feel a natural sense of empathy that subconsciously makes them more comfortable to be around you.
So how do you pick a good personal story? If you’re the kind of person who finds it challenging to choose a story to share, I recommend sitting down and brainstorming some ideas. What are some funny things that have happened to you or to those around you recently? Can you think of any clients or projects that have particularly benefited from your assistance? Once you have a list of ideas, assemble them into a collection of pithy stories and practice them until they feel very natural to recount.
Here are three starter tips on effective and impactful storytelling:
- Make it a short story – ideally one that can be retold in less than 2 minutes.
- Make the punch line both relevant to the listener, memorable and worth repeating to others.
- Watch your language (keep it clean) and never share confidential details about anyone or anything. Storytelling should improve your image in the eyes of your customer, not detract from it.