It should come as no surprise: The best way to make a point, teach something or sell a product is to tell stories. Here’s one of my favourite storytellers:
When I start preparing for a talk, I often struggle to think of stories that help explain the ‘thing’ I want to talk about.
After hearing Eamonn O’Brien’s brilliant talk at Sage in Newcastle the other day, I think I know where I’ve been going wrong.
1) I can’t think of story
It’s tricky to think of a story on the spot.
A simple way to solve this is to keep a journal. Whenever you encounter something funny / poignant / bizarre, jot it down. Overhear a funny conversation on the train this morning? Write it down.
Once you start building up a bunch of stories, you’ll have less of a problem thinking of one.
I ended up buying the Day One app as I’d probably end up losing a notebook — but good old pen and paper works just as well.
2) I think the story needs to be as thrilling as a James Bond car chase
As Eamonn pointed out, the James Bond car chase stories often wind up alienating your audience as they find it difficult to relate.
Better to go with simple, local, everyday stories that have an interesting twist.
In my experience, captivating stories encourage the listener to inject themselves into the narrative — “Oh my goodness, imagine if that happened to me”.
Or as Steve did; they use analogies to light up the imagination and explain a point in a super compelling way.