How to tell your story like a pro
Powerful individual stories create community. There are many opportunities for you to tell your stories to presidential candidates, legislators, or at meetings with decision-makers. Below are some tips on how to tell your story in a way that connects with your listeners.
Realize 90 percent of nervousness doesn’t even show. It’s true; the audience usually can’t see the butterflies you’re feeling. Focus your thoughts on your audience and the nervousness will go away.
- Keep it short. Tell your story in less than five minutes. If it’s too long your audience will lose focus, especially when there are several speakers.
- Limit your talk to a few key points. Ask yourself, “If my audience only remembered one thing from what I said, what would be the most important thing for them to take away?”
- Rehearse. Practice is essential. Practice without your notes and check your timing. If you must use notes then just jot down a few key points. Don’t attempt to memorize the entire speech word for word.
- Tell your story. Your audience will remember your personal story a lot longer than they will remember your talking points.
- Add some enthusiasm. Your audience will never be more excited about what you are saying than you are, so give them some energy and they will give it back to you.
- When in doubt, speak from the heart. Let your audience see the real you, your real emotions, and you will make a big impact.