“Storytelling is a form that can take a shape; it’s not a formula. The minute we start to plug into it as a formula, it will lose its humanity and meaning.”
— Nancy Duarte
Stories create an opportunity to empathize with a character who is on his own journey to find meaning, usually through some struggle or conflict.
It’s impossible to study Story and not be changed yourself. Stories are about transformation and we love to observe how characters change as they go through their adventurous journey — past their roadblocks to a place where they emerge transformed.
Academics and marketers alike have found that our brains are hardwired to process and store information in the form of stories. So, when we hear that “once upon a time” there was a certain character in such and such place, our minds are immediately transported to this imaginary scene.
Stories are irresistible to the human mind because they activate our imaginations and so we have no choice but to follow the mental movies created in our heads. As a result, they are used by many TED presenters who are some of the most inspirational speakers in the world.
PowerPoint and Keynote slides are often so terrible that ditching them completely would go a long way in helping presenters connect with audiences. I was taking a lazy Sunday nap and read an article on NPR called “Physicists, Generals, and CEOs Agree: Ditch The PowerPoint.” The article makes three fascinating points on why we should get rid of those slides completely:
Telling stories is one of the most powerful means that leaders have to influence, teach, and inspire. What makes storytelling so effective for learning? For starters, storytelling forges connections among people, and between people and ideas. Stories convey the culture, history, and values that unite people. When it comes to our countries, our communities, and our families, we understand intuitively that the stories we hold in common are an important part of the ties that bind.
This understanding also holds true in the business world, where an organization’s stories, and the stories its leaders tell, help solidify relationships in a…
It’s time to set the record straight. ANYONE can be a fantastic, world-class speaker with a little bit of training, a little bit of coaching, and a little bit of practice. It doesn’t take years of study and practice. It also doesn’t require millions of investment. In fact, one of the things that I tell my clients early in our coaching sessions is, “Just about everything that you have ever learned about public speaking is wrong.”
In this article, I’m going to bust a few of the biggest myths about public speaking. …
A personal brand is, in many ways, similar to a corporate brand. It is who you are, what you stand for, the values you embrace, and the way in which you express those values. Just as a company’s brand helps to communicate its value to customers and stand out from the competition, a personal brand does the same for individuals, helping to communicate a unique identity and clear value to potential employers or clients.
Developing a personal brand might sound challenging, but there are incremental steps you can take to build credibility in your field.
Here are eight tips to…
The moment of truth has arrived.
You had them at the open. The audience was clearly focused, nodding as you delivered your message. Eyes locked as you wove through a carefully crafted medley of stories, anecdotes, and analogies, all supporting your message. The majority of your audience agrees with your remarks.
The time has come to conclude, at which point you exclaim: “In conclusion, I appreciate your time. Thank you!”
And then nothing happens.
Everyone quietly claps, or just nods, and leaves the auditorium or conference room.
What can you do to prevent such a muted response?
When speakers think…
Imagine you have a big presentation next week and you’re unsure what to bring with you on stage. You know your subject matter but are afraid of losing your place halfway through the speech. At the same time, you don’t want to write the speech out and memorize it because you’re afraid it will sound inauthentic.
One of the most frequently asked questions I receive is: What type of notes should I bring to my presentation: bullet points, a script, or nothing at all?
First and foremost, I do not recommend memorizing your speech word-for-word; when you do that, you…
The term “Zoom fatigue” is making quite the rounds lately and no working professional is a stranger to the exhaustive amount of video calls they’ve done. Since the pandemic began, all our work-related interactions have shrunk to 13-inch laptop screens. It may seem like the way we interact with each other has completely pivoted, especially while conducting a webinar, or pitching a new client, or even delivering a presentation at a meeting.
It can be a daunting task to do this virtually but does it have to be? No!
The fundamentals of public speaking apply as much now as they…