I dare you to dig deep for your stories...I double DARE you.
When you think of finding stories, you likely have found out that stories can be everywhere. They can be events that happened to you a long time ago, or simple moments that are very recent and taught you a life lesson. If you took a logical approach to finding stories in the past, I'll challenge you to take a slightly different approach – get emotional.
Many speakers fail to make an emotional connection with their audience, because they develop their story, then try to add areas that can evoke emotion. Here's something to try – reverse the process. Instead of thinking of emotion after, start with it. Begin by “Finding the Feeling Place” - search for specific emotions, then ask, “What story brought that out of me?” For this blog, think of the acronym D.A.R.E. For 4 specific emotions to feel, then bring the corresponding story out from.
I believe it was Mary Kay who said that everyone has an invisible sign around their neck that reads “Make me feel Special”.
Everyone wants to feel important. There is a reason that Dale Carnegie says that your name is the most important word in any language to you. Most speakers believe that they are special, and that the audience is simply there to soak in what they have to say. As speakers, we are not gurus. We simply borrow advice from the Universe, our mentors, and those that have gone before us, and we share it. Let's work on making our audiences the stars of our talks, not ourselves.
How do you make each audience that you speak to feel special? One word: Customization.
Use any of the following 5 methods when you speak to customize your talk for each audience that you share it with. Keep in mind that these can be small adjustments that you make to an already existing talk. Make these small additions to your speech, and your audience will truly feel unique and special.
Kwesi Millington helps speakers, presenters and youth to connect with their audiences and master their messages using the power of storytelling in their speeches & presentations. He is a Certified Public Speaking Coach & Youth Mentor.