How many lectures have you ever attended after which you were able to clearly remember what you heard? Now, think back to the times as a child and young adult when you may have heard stories told by your parents, grandparents, or others. Odds are you can remember most of the aspects of these stories even today. By applying proper technique combined with interesting content you will quickly see why storytelling will engage your audience.
Many a speaker has worked hard to create the perfect presentation or teaching plan only to be left in wonder at the number of audience members who seem to blank out when asked about the message. Interestingly, if you look closely at the method employed by these speakers you will see that many rely on rote speaking using lecture style habits.
“A story is the shortest distance between two people.” — Terrence Gargiulo
Storytelling helps to engage your audience by requiring them to listen actively. It also helps to set an atmosphere much more conducive at conveying the point you are trying to achieve without having to state it in a blatant fashion. Given the effectiveness of storytelling at bringing the audience closer in touch with the speaker, why do people still rely on lectures?
Much of the answer to this lies in the fact that these individuals may not be comfortable with using storytelling. Whether it is due to not knowing how to start the process or not understanding the true benefits behind it, the fact is that they will constantly miss the boat. Enough of those folks however.
The question at hand is how you can engage your audience through storytelling. Truth be told, storytelling can take many forms. Some of these include sharing recollections, memories, and anecdotes or using allegory, metaphors, analogies and more. Engaging your audience through storytelling is like building a brick house. The tone set by the story acts as the mortar that helps to hold the bricks of your story in place. The mood elicited by the story then acts as the roof holding it all together and capping off the experience.
I am always glad to share my experiences with using storytelling in speaking with groups. Please feel free to contact me and find out more about how you too can use storytelling to engage your audience.