Jul 22

Now, I wanna tell you a Story…

For those of you of a certain age you’ll immediately recognise the title of this blog post as belonging to British comic Max Bygraves. For myself, I’ll just pretend that I found the quote on the internet and move on…

Storytelling in speaking is quite important because the audience has an opportunity to learn about the speaker and oftentimes a story can illustrate a point better than a cold statistic can.

Fellow speaker and blogger Craig Strachan recently posted on this subject as he has just completed the Humorously Speaking manual, which is one of the Advanced manuals at Toastmasters. Seeing as I’m currently teetering on the edge of completing the manual myself I thought I’d pick up on his post.

I absolutely concur with Craig, personal stories are the best way to go. With many, many stories a character goes on some sort of journey. It doesn’t have to be a literal journey like travelling to another country. It can be as minor as leaving the house, or someone arriving. Or even some sort of inner journey.

Essentially the character is taken out of their ordinary, day-to-day world and transported into a new one. An extreme example would be Dorothy be whisked up by the tornado and being transported from Kansas to Oz. The story then becomes about the character trying to get back to their normal life and resume their prior way of living.

But in all good stories that character has gone through some sort of change and cannot resume their exact way of life. They have learnt a lesson from the experience which they can then incorporate into their lives. To use The Wizard of Oz analogy again, Dorothy realises that there’s no place like home.

So next time you use a story in a speech have a think about what sort of journey the character goes on and how they are going to get back to their normal life.