Speak and Touch the Heart
Presentations and seminars become all too familiar
in the business world. Jim Speaker is there with
the overhead projector and PowerPoint slides-each
with four of five points.
Hours later the seminar is over. Seminars are
informative but can be deadly.
Just give me the handout and Iíll read it at home!
It takes a dynamic presenter to step out from
behind the lectern and shake up and motivate their
Facts touch or mind, but it is the power that
comes from stories that touch hearts.
Everybody loves a story. Stories give us insight
life and human nature. They can make us laugh and
they can make us cry. Story telling will go beyond
the bullet points and will make a memorable
impression on the heart that can change a life.
As a speaker, how can you use stories to give your
presentation the impact that you desire:
ē Tell inspirational stories to persuade, motivate
or entertain. Use stories to illustrate the point
you want to make. Try to find stories that are
relevant to the audience. For example, for
software engineers, tell a story about the young
engineer who started a company in his garage and
how Microsoft changed the world.
ē Tell a story from your own experience. Make a
habit of keeping a story journal and record your
dayís experiences. You will have a rich supply of
unique experiences to draw from to illustrate your
ē Use gestures and acting techniques to bring your
story to life. Donít just tell your audience about
a difficult client; get up and show them. Actions
have a greater impact on the point you are making.
ē Use description and dialogue. Take your audience
into the story by using description and dialogue.
Help them visualize and feel that they are part of
ē Practice your story until itís natural. Use the
pacing and rhythm to communicate your message to
your audience. Listen to a tape recording of
yourself. Check how you have varied the tone of
your voice and your speed to create the biggest
impact in your story.
Remember itís not about you; itís about your
audience. You have a great story and an important
message to convey. By concentrating on your
audience, you will become more confident and
relaxed. This will result in your audience feeling
comfortable and more receptive to your message.