The Power of Story

Have you ever been to a movie and been completely entranced by the story and visual effects. Did you feel so moved that you found yourself changing – perhaps how you thought about certain things, or perhaps even your actions?

Wizard of Oz
Wizard of Oz has layers and layers of stories.

Have you ever listened to a speaker and been aware of what you remember most from their presentation. It’s their stories isn’t it!

Stories have the ability to create a movie within a listener’s own mind where you, as the speaker, are the director.

You can paint a memorable picture in a person’s mind accentuated with sounds and feelings – much more than any data and information you will share with them.

I shared this concept with you a month ago in “Tell your Story for Change” and I think it’s so important that it is worth delving deeper.

If you are a speaker that has a message to share to empower others, then you want to use stories to accentuate your message so that your teaching is captivating and memorable.

Let’s look at the types of stories you can tell.

1.  Your Story – how does your life reflect the message you want to convey.

What are the lessons you have learned along the way from your experiences, that you want others to ‘get’.

As a motivational speaker, speaking on the “Olympian Mindset for Success”, I can tell you the importance of persistence, commitment and focus. You might hear it and think about how you can do more of those three things in your life.

You will think about it, but chances are you will forget about me and my talk a few hours later as you get back into the ‘real world’.

Better still, I can share my personal story of my journey to the Olympics, of the obstacles I had to overcome and how I did that. I can give examples of my life when I was focused on a goal and when I was not. You will remember the story, the lessons and you will understand how to apply persistence, commitment and focus to your own life.

Get clear on the relevant points of your story.

2. Stories of others – what stories from other people can you use to exemplify your message? Stories of your clients, friends or family, famous people.

How many times have you heard speakers talk about Edison and his failure and eventual success to invent the light bulb?

3. Metaphors – these are my favourite, because they break down the resistance of the listener. A good metaphor entrances the audience (like a movie) and opens up the curiosity corner of the listener’s mind.

This has the listener looking for the relevance of the story to them, as well as looking for answer – that you can provide.

Look to movies as sources of metaphors (one of my favourite movies, Wizard of Oz, is a great example) or learn how to create your own so you know the audience will be hearing it for the first time from you.

The power of story is that the listener translates it (without even realizing it) into how that relates to their own life. They imagine how they might even apply the lessons in the story to make positive changes for themselves.

By telling stories, your audience is empowered to come to their own conclusions about how to use the information. This is non-threatening and can help your audience to take action much more than teaching information alone.

Include stories, examples, analogies and metaphors to get your point across so your audience will remember you and will make changes and take action on your message.

For help with crafting your message and including inspiring stories so you can captivate your audience, contact Annette via email at [contact_us type=”email”].