I made a presentation recently at the Ronald Regan building in downtown Washington, D.C. during a conference focusing on customer service. I and my co-presenter Tim had 30 minutes to summarize the advantages of using social media as a customer service strategy.
Any conference presentation has its challenges as to providing information in a unique and entertaining way. Any presenter carefully watches the eyes and facial expressions of the audience to gauge whether or not you are doing an effective job of communicating.
Things were going well but I noticed that whenever I strayed from the formal presentation to tell a story about the use or impact of social media, you could see the faces of the audience smile and make direct contact with me. They were nodding in agreement and you could see approval in their body movements.
I sometimes wonder if I would be a better presenter if I simply stuck to stories and minimized my principal communication objectives. I knew that points accompanied by stories would be remembered.
Then I found the Following Article from LifeHacker:
“In 1748, the British politician and aristocrat John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich, spent a lot of his free time playing cards. He greatly enjoyed eating a snack while still keeping one hand free for the cards. So he came up with the idea to eat beef between slices of toast, which would allow him to finally eat and play cards at the same time. Eating his newly invented “sandwich,” the name for two slices of bread with meat in between, became one of the most popular meal inventions in the western world.”
“What’s interesting about this is that you are very likely to never forget the story of who invented the sandwich ever again. Or at least, much less likely to do so, if it would have been presented to us in bullet points or other purely information-based form.”
The article (see link below) then delves into the scientific relationship of brain activity and storytelling. It’s a fascinating read.
Tell Stories When You Speak:
The bottom-line behind every speech or presentation is conveying memorable information. Those of us representing corporate or government bureaucracies sometimes reject the concept of being an entertainer. We’re subject level experts; we’re not paid to put a smile on anyone’s face.
But that’s the problem; we are paid to be good communicators and to communicate wisely and effectively we have to speak from the heart. To do that, we have to humanize ourselves and our issues by telling good stories.
You can find endless resources by using Google or Bing and entering “telling good stories.”
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