I was coaching a group on their presentation to their Senior Leadership Team. It was the end of months of research, weeks of discussion and development, days of practice. Our session began.
The first speaker stood up. She seemed relaxed, she smiled and then began to explain the assignment, telling in great detail what they had been asked to research. Then she spoke about how her team had researched for quite some time before they could even identify their topic. She continued by saying that once they had found their topic, they started looking for new sources for research.
This is all before she had reached slide 2 of her presentation. I was completely disengaged and struggling hard to pay attention at all.
I was exhausted and she hadn’t really started yet!
Stop, stop, please, stop.
Don’t tell everyone what they already know (describing the assignment). Don’t tell them what they don’t care about (how tough it was for you). Don’t bore them (please!).
You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. That’s fact.
And it’s true for your speaking, for your website and for your networking.
You need to engage, interest and inspire people.
You need a story.
So here’s where you start.
1. Figure out what they (the audience) want to hear.
2. Discover what they care about.
3. Know what they know.
1. Ask a challenging question
2. Describe a scene with an unknown element (a question to be answered, a mystery to be solved)
3. Tell them something true that happened to you
preferably, all of the above.
Yes, tell a story. It’s the most engaging, interesting and inspiring you can be.
Here’s the thing though, you are probably reading this and nodding slightly. Maybe agreeing enthusiastically or maybe you’re just scanning the text to see if there’s anything worth readying.
I challenge you to take this further.
What situation do you have in your life/profession/business right NOW that could do with a good story?
Where do you need to have impact and influence?
Who do you want to engage and inspire?
Figure it out this minute. What story can you tell? And share it below. Really, don’t just move on to the next article, task or Facebook post. Do it now. Share it below.
Ready, Steady, …..GO.