An Evolution Everyone Can Agree On
Evolution is obviously a term that can create controversy and contention. And that’s not the purpose of this post.
There is one type of evolution that is indisputable and that is the evolution of your speeches and stories.
Memorable Stories and Speeches Don’t Just ‘Happen’
Contrary to popular belief, the most memorable and impactful presentations do not just roll off the tongue and onto the paper (or computer screen).
To quote one of my speech coaches, Craig Valentine, “A message is a mess with age.” When you first create your talks and stories, they’re ‘messy’ — you’ll have all kinds of ideas. You’ll have many details and characters involved.
In order to create your message, you start with this mess. Then you begin to whittle away the parts you don’t need.
Proven ‘Story Evolution’ Steps
First, get clear on your takeaway message. Share it with others and get feedback. Evolve this part of the talk until it’s clear and captures the point you want to get across.
Then you work on:
- Character development
- Introducing and increasing your conflict
- Creating clarity of the Main Character’s goal
- Showing that person’s moment of success
- Share insights into the Main Character’s improved life
This will involve many, many presentations, getting feedback, review of your recordings and feedback, adjusting the details and then repeating the process.
That’s what is meant by ‘evolution.’ It is a constant tweaking and adjusting to improve. In this sense, your story never really is completed. And that’s okay.
Why You Shouldn’t Strive For Perfect Stories and Speeches
I once read an article about the film director George Lucas. He said (I’m paraphrasing), “You never really do you finish a movie. There just comes a day when you gotta give the studio your film.”
There is no perfect movie and despite their imperfections, yet there are many memorable films that have made over $1 billion.
Your story and your speech are constantly evolving. Never let this stop you from giving it to an audience. Work on it as much as possible, practice it, get feedback, make adjustments and keep repeating this process until the day of the presentation.
Then, go give it to the best of your ability. When you’re done, realize that you’ve done the best you could that day with what you had. And then strive to make it better. Unlike Hollywood, where movies only get one opening night, you’ll have multiple opportunities and audiences to whom you can introduce the latest version of your story.
This process has worked for the world’s greatest speakers and storytellers, authors, and moviemakers. It can work for you, too.
That is an evolutionary process we can all get behind.
Improve Your Storytelling Skills, Faster
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