emotional responses; and the branded
message gives them a call to action they
remember and can apply in their lives.
A PHRASE THAT PAYS
The research done by Medina and
Iacoboni helped me understand why
audience members who saw me tell a
story in a keynote more than 10 years
ago can approach me today and say, “I
still remember your airport story.” But
it’s what they say next that really proves
the effectiveness of my Story Theater
Method as an essential storytelling
approach. With a smile on their face,
they say, “I look for the limo every day.”
“Look for the Limo” is my branded
point for that story. I call it a Phrase
That Pays. It’s “Mental Velcro” that
makes the point of your story stick.
Because of the imagery and emotion,
they remember the story. And because
they remember the story, they remem-
ber the point. When they remember the
point, it becomes actionable. What’s the
point of developing a presentation filled
with great content if no one remembers
the lessons, takes action, or changes his
or her behavior?
Your clients aren’t looking just for
great storytellers. They’re looking for
practical ideas that people will implement. They’re looking for results.
A brilliantly crafted story can be an
emotionally arousing event that engages
listeners, holds their attention and has
the potential to change their lives. With
the pervasive use of Blackberrys and
iPhones, the first challenge you face
in your presentation is competing for
your audience members’ mind share.
Good storytelling solves that problem
by engaging their attention. Using storytelling craft, imagery, emotion and a
well-chosen point, we can attach real
meaning to the story.
MAKE YOUR STORIES
Now is the time for professional speakers to take their storytelling skills to the
next level. Simply “getting to the point”
misses the point of what a good story is
all about: imagery, emotion and relationships. Taking your stories to the next level
requires precision. It requires precision
with the structure and sequence of the
story; precision with creating the three-dimensional movie experience of the
story; precision with the branded point of
the story; and the precision (and courage)
to be authentic with the emotion of the
story. Are you living up to the potential of
your most powerful stories?
Can you replicate your stories with
95 percent accuracy to ensure that what
worked brilliantly once continues to
work brilliantly each and every time you
tell that story? That’s what precision
can give you. The best storytellers don’t
bank on just getting lucky; they craft
their stories and get them right every
time. Isn’t it time for you to take your
stories to the next level?
Remember that many of your best
stories are powerful because of the pain
and emotion you experienced in dealing
with a crisis or overcoming an obstacle. If you think about your favorite
movies, they’re your favorites because
they made you feel something. The
actors went deep into the emotion of
the moment. Because they went there,
you went there—thanks to your mirror
neurons! Doesn’t your audience deserve
the next level of your stories?
TO MAKE YOUR STORIES
SCRIPT AND MEMORIZE your best stories.
Stop rehearsing in front of paying
DON’T JUST NARRATE EMOTIONS; portray
them in silence. Don’t just pause;
fill the silences with thoughts and
THINK OF YOUR STORIES AS MINI-PLAYS.
Practice the movement and staging.
CREATE IN MOMENTS: present-tense
re-enactments of key emotional
Brand the lesson of your story with
a call to action, A PHRASE THAT PAYS.
And finally, STOP PLAYING I T SAFE with
your stories. Pull out all the stops
and have a blast when you tell your
Doug Stevenson is a former professional actor, now speaker, trainer and speaker’s coach on strategic storytelling for business and motivational presentations. Doug is the creator and author of Doug Stevenson’s Story Theater Method and The How to Write and Deliver a Dynamite Speech System, designed to help speakers and leaders choose, craft and deliver more engaging, effective and memorable stories.
Learn more at www.storytelling-in-business.com.