There’s no escaping it – Good communication skills are essential for good business whether you are in the public, private or voluntary sector.
Internally – done well – good communication underpins the very culture of an organisation keeping staff informed, engaged and valued. Externally – good communication keeps clients and stakeholders up to date and feeling included too.
So whether you’re speaking at a conference, giving a work presentation, appearing in a company video, taking part in a podcast or even on the local news, what can you do to make sure you are connecting with your audience whoever they are and getting your message heard?
This is what Bespoke Communications does on a daily basis working with individuals and organisations to have those important and sometimes difficult conversations to change hearts minds and behaviours – or simply to educate, entertain or inform.
What we see with the best presenters is that the secret of their success always lies in their story telling ability. Stories are what people remember – not the facts and figures! It’s the A-ha moment, the authentic revelation around the WHY? of their presentation.
Maybe it’s the story of the first customer, the story of their first bank loan, the story of why a charity exists in the first place, how it makes a difference and to whom. Perhaps, the story of triumph over adversity, the story of who we are, or the member of staff who really stands out, or the great life lesson for others. NB Obviously the story must be appropriate to the presentation and the audience and it must come from the heart and be authentic.
However – in our training sessions we often see that people find storytelling hard – this requires people to be vulnerable sometimes sharing times when they’ve overcome a challenge or when things didn’t go so well – and that is hard to do. Or sometimes people don’t think others will be interested, they then rush through the story and throw it away – or perhaps it’s not their story its someone else’s – and people become shy or awkward when recounting.
My top tip to overcome “storytelling eek” is to absolutely fall in love with the story! Don’t allow your brain to think “Who cares?” or “Am I’m oversharing?” Just pour your heart and soul into it – don’t waste your story. When you love what you’re saying you add energy and a touch of magic to your talk. You spend time there – because it’s important. It’s a bit like hearing a favourite song on the radio – it changes your mood and connects. If the performer was singing it in a really lack lustre and apologetic way would it have the same impact? I doubt it.
Don’t waste the opportunity. With every story you’ve got the perfect medium for your message.
So for your next presentation –
- What is your goal?
- What is your message?
- What do you want your audience to FEEL, LEARN and DO when they hear it?
- What story or stories will you LOVE telling to make that connection and that message stick?
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