Upping My Communication Skills With Storytelling


One of my goals this year is to become a better communicator. Dare I say it, good enough to get on the TED Talk circuit!

My 3 top priorities in signing up for this training program are:

1.Develop a compelling elevator pitch

  • When asked: “what do you do?” I want to have a short response that is concise and fascinating
  • It must be intriguing enough for people to want to learn more
  • With Zandl Group, all I had to say was I have a “trend consulting company.” Everyone wanted to know more, starting with what trends were next. I need to develop something as compelling for what I am doing now.

2.Hone my storytelling skills

  • Crucial for any type of presentation.
  • Opening with a relevant, short story grabs the audience’s attention and relaxes you, the speaker.

3.Motivational speaking skills

  • I’m interested in seeing if I can turn my personal life lessons into TED-like talks on how to navigate change, build self-confidence and be comfortable living in beta-mode
  • I know that many aspects of my personal story intrigue people
  • And I will have to agree with them that my upbringing was anything but traditional. Those early years provided many lessons in self-sufficiency that both amuse and horrify people when they first hear them

Read on below for more on the power of storytelling including how to nail the first 30 seconds of any preserntation. Excellent advice from Kindra Hall. An absolute must-read.

How to Nail the First 30 Seconds of Your Presentation

  • The difference between a presentation that is a raging success or a flop is often decided in the first 30 seconds.
  • Here’s the one thing you need to do to start strong:  Start with a story.
  • Research shows that storytelling is more persuasive than facts.
  • Stories will make your speech more memorable because humans are hard-wired for stories.
  • However, there are several advantages to starting with a story.

A story makes you a human instead of an expert

  • There are some audiences who welcome speakers and others who are more difficult to win over.
  • A story is the fastest way to make the transition from “expert in the front of the room,” to “person just like you.”
  • Ideal stories tap into situations the audience has experienced themselves.
  • They highlight commonalities and bridge the gap between audience and expert.
  • Remember: The major lessons learned in the stories have to be relevant to the overall message of the presentation.

A story will calm your nerves

  • Humans like stories.
  • Starting a presentation with a story gives the audience something they want.
  • Within 30 seconds of taking the stage, the audience will visibly engage: nodding, laughing, putting away their phones.
  • All of these signals ease your nerves so you can get on with delivering a great speech.

A story is easy

  • Storytelling is a skill and, like anything worth doing, requires effort to master.
  • Think back on life experiences that illustrate the message you want to deliver. You’ve already lived these stories, all you have to do now is tell them.

Share this post on: