How you deliver impactful stories is a skill; and once acquired is a powerful way to engage with your audience: to share impactful information and develop trust.
Yesterday evening, the United Kingdom was treated to a level of storytelling that left more criticism and questions. It failed to make a positive impact: it failed to engage the audience in a positive way. Instead it was rambling, with too much detail. No structure and no effort to really engage with the audience. Whilst the subject matter was controversial, this could have been an opportunity to ‘set the matter straight’: to build up trust – and sympathy. Watch the storytelling I am referring to here.
So what could have been different?
How we deliver our stories; the content; structure and delivery all add impact. Here are some top tips:
- Purpose: what is the reason why you want to share a story or case study? Is it to illustrate a particular point or service you offer? Is it to build rapport with your audience? Is it because you like the sound of your own voice? If it is the latter, think again!
- Content: does the story add
- Timing: are you including a story within a presentation or pitch? Do you need to consider how long you have in total: if you only have a very limited amount of time, is there enough time to include a detailed story? Could you make it simpler?
- Detail: is there a reason why you need to go into fine details whilst telling the story? Do you have time? Does it add to the experience for the audience to go into minute detail? If you are using a story as a case study, could you ‘headline’ the case study and offer a separate document with further information?
- How can you engage with the audience’s emotions? The storytelling I am referring to yesterday did provoke emotion: but the wrong one. It was anger not sympathy. Touching the emotions of your audience is essential when you are including storytelling. Perhaps you are wanting to create curiosity; joy; happiness or even disappointment. Listen to my podcast interview with leading neuroscientist Dr Lynda Shaw, on the power of storytelling and why emotion is so important. Listen here.
- Structure: does the story have a start, ‘journey’ and end? Is it clear to the audience? We need to ‘signpost’ (even subtly) so the audience knows where they are in the story.
- Delivery: are you actually passionate or interested in the story? If not, why should the audience be! Think about setting the scene; varying the delivery speed; adding pauses. Create suspense with HOW you tell the story. Remember how exciting it was to listen to stories as a child. Without going over the top, there are simple ways you can make the story or case study far more compelling for your audience: so they will be intrigued; want to know the end etc.
There are many other skills and tips that can make your story or case study utterly engaging and compelling for your audience. We are now delivering a new webinar How to use storytelling in business communication. It is a CPD/CE accredited webinar and is suitable for all levels of employees. We normally tweak the content for the audience, and discuss the attendees before the webinar to ensure the content is of value. If you would like more details or to book the webinar, please contact us orbook a chat