Thursday, November 5, 2015

8 storytelling tips from my other blog

Alert readers know that I post about communications, speechwriting, and social media strategy on the don't get caught blog. A recent series, Tell It Better, has focused on the core components of storytelling--not just in public speaking, but in all areas of communication. Readers of The Eloquent Woman can now put them to use with the entire collection of eight posts about elements, considerations, and approaches to storytelling, right here:
  1. Surprise and suspense: In a world of informational presentations where we routinely warn audiences on the second slide about where we are headed, suprise and suspense are too often ignored. But they're critical to your ability to engage your listeners and keep them intrigued.
  2. Tested metaphors: Humans reach for metaphors almost as second nature, but we rarely test our assumptions about whether they work for our intended audience. Take a look at some examples of why testing your metaphor is an essential part of building an effective story.
  3. Slides as storytelling barriers: You *can* tell a story with slides, but in many cases, slides serve as barriers to letting a story unfold. Consider whether your slides are making your storytelling more, not less, difficult.
  4. Using stories as a form of healthcare evaluation data: When you're looking for metrics, don't overlook individuals' stories as a form of data you can use to evaluate progress, with an example from a team of healthcare executives I coached to give TED-quality talks.
  5. Who should find the story? A frequent speaker makes the case for using stories you come up with yourself, rather than those found for you by speechwriters or others, for greatest impact.
  6. Themes and symmetry: Among the many patterns in a story, winding a theme through it, or taking advantage of opportunities for symmetry, are two with rich possibility for making the most of your story.
  7. Borrowing a story: Don't worry if you don't have an appropriate story of your own. Borrowing a story is an ancient option. Take a look at the examples here for a wide range of options.
  8. Visual metaphors: Many metaphors conjure up images in the mind. Can you take further advantage of that association, for your slides, visuals, and content?
(Creative Commons licensed photo by Leah M. Miller)

I've got two small-group workshops coming up on Creating a TED-quality talk in Washington, DC, in January. Choose the January 14 workshop or the January 28 workshop. All you need to do is bring your one big idea for a talk in the style of TED. You'll learn how to plan, write, time, practice, and deliver it in a group limited to 5 people per workshop. Join us!