My Grandpa was a professional story teller. Where did he learn all the techniques? I can tell you, not on workshops. But when he was a scoot. Sitting next to the fire in the middle of nowhere, mainly in the dark is a pretty good setting to tell a story. But what if you are in a boring meeting room?
How to catch the attention when you are at a conference in front of dozens (if not hundreds) of people? In your boss’s office? Context probably won’t help. And even, you have to be able to transform your message to a story, which shall be taken by everyone. It is not so difficult as it sounds. There are some basic elements which you have to know and the rest is on your performance skills.
Grab one element. It shouldn’t be the most important, but surely the most interesting. Help your audience to tune in and invite them to your mind.
Universal human characteristic , that you don’t want to ask somebody who speaks the most around you, but the one who doesn’t speak too much. It is also a fact, that you don’t loose your audience’s attention, because what you are talking about is less and less interesting. It is because the human brain’s ability to focus is limited. It works like that, so don’t be angry at them. Instead, try to use your limited time effectively!
Try to put yourself in the place of your audience. Would it be interesting for you? Your friends and family can help you. They hopefully will be basically more interested in what you are going to present. So if they say, that bar really is boring, than you surely have to work on that part, or just leave it out.
If you can’t build a whole story around your core message, than at least insert a story. If you don’t have one, there are many sources to get a good one. Check out MajorDesign’s blog to have a story about Walt Whitman’s brain, the origins of tennis, the time when people said “Ahoy!” on the phone. You can surely find one which fits in your context.
It’s easier than you think. This can be a personal story, a joke, an object that you hold in your hand during your speech, something that you wear. Just be brave and think ouf of the box! Even if you find it ridiculous, your audience will remember of you because of your anchor stuff and not because you shared the meaning of life. Keep in mind these 5 steps and let your creativity work. There are no bad ideas -but give them a try, before you use them.
*(MajorDesign Creative Agency is focused on a the question of story telling. That is why we try to summarize some basic tricks about this topic. You can find previous articles here).