Experts! Speak English Podcast Milestones and Mastery: Celebrating 10,000 Downloads & Mastering the Art of
The story itself and the learning from your story & the telling of that story – the delivery. If you tell a story like you are ready to go home for the delay it will fall flat and you will look and feel like a fool, if you are going to tell a story take on the role of entertainer, look the part, sound the part, feel the part!
It takes confidence to deliver with power and conviction but if you know your stuff then you are half way there, the delivery part, how you tell your story is something that comes with practice, so … practice.
Tall Stories – these are what I grew up with, my Dad is a master of tall stories! A tall story is a story that as it is told, time and time again, it get’s a little bit exaggerated each time and as the story progresses it becomes more and more unbelievable until you realise – oh come on, this is just a tall story.
In business when the topics can be repetitive, familiar or dare I say it dull (someone else’s agenda at the meeting not yours of course 😉 then business stories can be great for gaining and holding their attention.
Stories don’t have to be made up, in fact the best stories are true ones. The stories that you have experienced first hand are easy to tell, right so use those, never take someone else’s story without quoting them unless you deliberately want to drag your reputation into the dirt, so share your experience, experiment with storytelling techniques.
It is emotions that stimulate your audience to take action, then they will justify their decisions or actions with logic and facts. So use the power of storytelling to make people take action:
– take the job
– sign the contract
– supply the parts
What do you want your audience to do?
Before you even start telling your story, plan.
Have the goal of the story and their call to action ready in your mind to share with them, before you start, only then should you practice telling the story.
DON’T make them work it out – but I am getting ahead of myself.
If analogies are the little sister of storytelling, as we discovered in last week’s podcast episode about analogies, then
storytelling are the cool big brothers, the ones that really get our attention.
In a world where we are wired, we are craving a connection and are used to being distracted with entertainment and information. Now for the skeptics reading this edutainment is not about acting like the clown, it is an effective way to gain and keep the attention or decision makers and action takers because we do not live in a vacuum.
We need to aim to be at least as engaging as social media, Netflix and TED Talks if we are to cut through the noise and make a great, professional but personal impression. That doesn’t make you a drama Queen, it makes you a passionate mover and shaker.
Someone that makes things happen, because nobody ever got to the top by doing everything themselves.
Good stories inspire people to take action, they’re great for team-building too so let’s find out how to tell great stories, shall we?
Now my Dad is a real character and a notorious tall story teller.
Ahh, what’s a tall story you ask?
Well a tall story is a story that is an exaggerated often rediculous version of the truth that as it unravells, becomes increasingly obvious that it is not true. It was through these entertaining tall stories that he won the heart of my Grandma who having lost a husband in the second world war was certainly not excited to have a guy from Bremen marrying her daughter.
His tall stories won her heart.Now clearly he had to do more than just tell a couple of tall stories to get a chance but it certainly helped him to break the ice.
Believe me, storytelling in business is an entertaining and approachable way to get your business partners, stakeholders and colleagues to shift gears from the logical to the emotional.
I have taught big data experts, statisticians and financial bosses to do this and they confessed to me afterwards that people listen more and pay attention, something they struggled with before.
REMEMBER Even though decisions are often justified with facts, we all know that decisions are driven by the heart. If someone can buy into a decision, and make that decision feeling good about it you’ll start your business relationship on the right foot.
Now as a young catholic girl, we went to church every Sunday. Our priest – Father Burns – was in his 40s, everybody loved him!
He told great stories!
Now as a priest I am sure that his life was not soooo exciting but that’s the thing he told stories about everyday situations, ones that we could relate to and identify with.
Stories that regardless of your age (in a church congregation you have everybody from lawyers and plumbers to toddler and grannies) you would understand not just the story, but the message – BAM!
To get the message is to move the needle, to shift your perspective – in a catholic church that gospel is
all about living a Christian life in line with the catholic values.
In your business setting perhaps you are struggling with the corporate culture too – try storytelling.
Make it real and relatable like Fr Burns did and make yourself likeable and a pillar of support and trust.
So that’s the trick!
Start – with the goal in mind. I’ve mentioned it before I know but this is the game changer here.
Particularly important with storytelling, is to make it super clear what to do next – how to take action because if you tell a good story, they’ll already be motivated, you must tell them what to do, don’t expect them to work it out, they have to hear it from you, the story teller – the expert.
That pulls people in and makes them feel like they are a part of the story, like a fly on the wall. Try it out
a) when I was a young girl and
b) we’re at school, we are wearing these rediculous school uniforms
you see the present tense and the details pull you in more.
Try it out yourself with the last story that you told, retell it in the present tense and see if the impact is different
Simply by using more adjectives and adverbs to really describe the situation, the characters, the challenge of action and the message, especially how you felt as a result of this situation can be massive in terms of providing that all imporant detail that draws them in.
You can choose the mood by adding suspence, humour and talking about the emotions around the story.
Bring a specific communication challenge with you – you tell me why you need to perform, and the impression that you want to make, then we walk and talk for 90 minutes to practice your conversation, then we’ll enjoy a well deserved cocktail together.
My regular hourly fee for two hours would be €300.
Offer only available until 07.07.2022.
(The price of the cocktail is included)
Why not split the cost with a fun friend or colleague?
GREAT GIFT IDEA TOO AS A UNIQUE LEAVING PRESENT
Now before I go on to tell you about what your audience needs to see or imagine, to really understand your message and take action, I would like to share with you a cocktail powered solution for those of you based in Berlin and Potsdam
Pimp Your English – Is my walk and talk coaching solution for people that want to make a difference in their career but struggle to find the time or inspiration to do something active after a demanding day at work or work on their English, even though they would love to have an opportunity to practice their English and get some feedback.
So why not join me with a fun colleague or friend who also wants more from their career. Bring a communication challenge with you and we’ll practice as we walk.
Once we get back to our meeting point, I’ll treat you to a refreshing and well deserved cocktail. Walk & Talk coaching for two hours usually costs €300 but all of my prices go up every August, so
I have four more PIMP YOUR ENGLISH sessions between now and the last session on the 7th of the 7th or the 7th of July, when the school holidays begin here in Berlin.
So if you have something coming up at work where you want to make a professional impression in English let’s make sure you go in there feeling and sounding confident – possibly with a clever use of storytelling to make your point.
Now many people think that storytellers are extroverts that like the sound of their own voice, but here is the one vital ingredient that changes that for you. Make it relevant to the audience.
Be crystal clear in your own mind BEFORE YOU START TO TELL YOUR STORY; what your audience’s role is in the story, how it affects them or could affect them – their hopes, dreams, fears.
1. Why are you telling them this story?
2. What are you try to share with them?
3. What can they learn?
4. Why do they need to know it?
Making the news interesting for children is necessary but difficult and that’s often the way in business too, so learn from the pros, here are a couple of links (If you have found others, please let me know and I will add them to this list, thanks)
If you’re thinking, Coco, this is all well and good but I can you not just give me some kick start support?
Sure, I can do that, let’s meet for a Virtual Tea Break and based on the type of goal you have in mind, your schedule and your learning style we can put an action plan to help you get that all important practice that I mentioned right at the beginning. Practice is what makes you overcome the inhibitions and start feeling more confident.
Let’s practice together and I’ll give you actionable tips in a supportive and motivational way.