Story is Everywhere
Every day, it feels like people are doling out advice on why you should tell stories and how to do it. As a result, many people are now telling their stories in professional presentations and networking events.
And they’re not getting the results they should. They’re not getting as much buy-in to their message nor persuading people to take action.
One critical piece is missing from their stories, a key that has been called ‘The Heart of Storytelling.’
What is this elusive heartbeat of your story?
Recreated conversations between key characters.
Why is dialogue important?
Because it transforms a cold ‘report’ into a memorable experience for the audience. It makes them feel as if they’re in a scene, watching it unfold, and feeling the emotions of the characters.
This is the opposite of what most people do, which is ‘reporter mode’ — simply giving the facts.
A Real Story Told Two Ways
Consider this example:
I’ll never forget the first time I drove by myself. It was the Spring of 1979. I was 16 and had a great teacher, my Dad. His words were playing over in my head as I was struggling to engage the manual gear-shift. I got frustrated, felt embarrassed, and eventually the anger got to me when I started berating myself.
That is reporting:
- I was driving alone for the first time.
- I was remembering my Dad’s wisdom.
- And my emotions got the better of me.
Is the information true?
Is it compelling or interesting?
Nope! It could be the start of a story that quickly puts you to sleep.
A Better Story?
What do you think of this version…
It’s April of 1979. I’m 16 years old and I’m sitting in the driver’s seat of my new Chevrolet Chevette. It still has that new car smell. The sun is shining and my windows are rolled down.
And I’m thinking, “Why can’t I do this? I did great when Dad was with me yesterday.”
Then I remember his words of wisdom, “Before you do anything, take a deep breath. Shift into first gear. Then slowly let off the clutch and give it some gas. Take your time and relax. You’ll get this.”
So, I take a deep breath. Shift into first gear. I ease up on the clutch and… the car jerks forward and the engine stops again.
This scene repeats for another 10 minutes. I’m fit to be tied! “Why can’t I do this!! This is ridiculous! I’m so stupid!
“Oh no! Is that Mrs. Albers looking at me? The neighbors are never gonna let me forget this.
Is this version a little longer?
Could you relate to my teenage angst?
Most likely, yes.
Was this emotional?
For most people, definitely.
At any point in the first story did you ‘see’ the events unfolding?
How about the second version?
Most likely you did.
What’s the difference between the two?
My internal dialogue. I was speaking in everyday language, and you could hear my frustration. But, couldn’t you also feel it?
Most people tell me ‘yes’ when I share this story with them.
And that’s the first key to creating a meaningful and unforgettable story. Put your audience ‘in the scene’ with well-crafted and expertly delivered dialogue.
Is This Story Telling, or Acting?
Some people have asked, “Isn’t this like acting?”
It’s a good question, but the answer is, ‘No.’
This isn’t a stage play. You’re not assuming the role of a character in a production. You’re re-living a scene for the audience so they can feel the emotions you experienced. As Hall of Fame speaker Lou Heckler says, “Don’t re-tell it, re-live it.”
And if you deliver the scene as close as possible to the way you originally experienced it, you’ll earn empathy, sympathy and trust from your audience.
And once you create that bond, you have a story that leaves a lasting impact.
Need Help to Craft and Deliver Your Own Memorable Story?
I can help you uncover, then deliver the stories that quickly create trust and persuade your audiences to take action. To determine how I can best help, schedule your no-cost, no-obligation call. Click here: https://calendly.com/speaker017/initialconsultation-