The power of the story is one that has influenced cultures for generations. Whether they were handed down through word of mouth or documented with videos and pictures, they hold a significant place in the speaker toolbox. Top name speakers use this tool to build trust with audiences leading them to a call to action. As there are more and more speakers taking the stage, some with formal training and others without, there has also been a shift in the speaker model.
The speaker model should include a story that leads to a call to action. Simple right? Well, there are many who are coming into the industry unaware of this model. They do one or the other which leaves the audience excited but not changed. Ultimately, as speakers, we want to have the attendees ready to make a change and then give them the tools they need to make that change.
It starts with the story and there are three that stand out.
That thing that you just knew you had in the bag. The perfect relationship or the ideal job position that ended abruptly hits close to home for many. This story allows you to share with the audience how you were able to come back from that failure. It lays a clear foundation that life happens and we are not able to be prepared for each and every part of it…
…but we can come back from it!
Using this story has a greater impact when you make the audience tie it to their own sense of failure. Then your steps to coming back become a lot more relatable for them.
The Overcomer story
The overcomer story is that story of you tapping into your superpower against the odds that were stacked up against you. Having a health issue or an outside element that was out of your control can be understood by those diagnosed with an illness or having a sudden amputation. It is the will to go in spite of what is currently happening. There is a unique demographic that benefits from this story but many people find joy in hearing stories like these.
Heck, social media is full of them!
The leap story
Taking that huge leap that people told you wouldn’t, couldn’t or shouldn’t work. This includes starting the business or leaving the job to travel the world. It was outside the scope of what many could comprehend. Like the stories of those who ate tuna fish sandwiches for months or those who slept in their car. At the moment you looked and possibly smelled weird (Some may still look weird. lol) but in the end, it becomes one heck of a story to share.
The most important aspect of storytelling is that you have actionable steps that you can share with the audience. One way this becomes a little more difficult is when the speaker has not fully healed from a situation. It is the elephant in the speaking industry. When do you make that shift from being bitter to being better?
It will be different for each speaker but it is crucial so we as speakers are not triggering the attendees. When bitterness is intwined with a great speech there will be a point when the attendees shut down. They will become defensive in their posture and often start focusing on something else.
How do we know if we are bitter?
That is a self-check that can be done in a few ways.
How do you feel when you talk about a certain subject? Do you find yourself filled with anger, frustration or rage? You may not think so but it comes out in how you present. Your posture, tone of voice and even your presentation will take on a whole new look and meaning. Kids are also a great indicator of when something is rubbing you the wrong way. They are quick to ask you why you are so sad or angry even in the moments when you didn’t think that you were.
Once you find out that you may have an area that is not quite healed you have a couple of different options. They often include finding a way to rest and care for yourself mind, body, and spirit.
Being better is not a destination…it is a journey.
There isn’t a perfect description of what it means to be better but how you speak about your situation is a clear indicator. When you can talk about it without the anger than you are able to help someone else get through their situation. The better we become the more people we can help.
We can all be better and we can each help others be better as well. How will you help others to become better?
With over ten years of writing, Altovise uses her platforms to create opportunities for women to have their voices heard. Founder of the World Voice League, she educates and empowers through courses, a weekly accountability call, blogging, books, and the #SpeakEasy Podcast.