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Telling Compelling Stories: Tips from a FEI 16 Workshop

Workshop at FEI16
Telling Compelling Stories
William Greenwald, Founder
and Chief Neuroleaderologist, Windsor Leadership Group
William
began with a story.
This
one was about air travel. Something happens. The plane makes an odd noise. Then,
nose dives. 'What am I'm going to do'? echoed in his head. The captain chimed
in 'you may use your phone'you have ten seconds to send a message.' What would
you say?
William
said, 'We are going down. I love you all ' remember, I'm flying on business so
I get double indemnity with life ins''
The
plane landed safely after all. A world of self-reflection confounded William
and made him reflect on what matters'family, love.
What
makes this story compelling?
The
audience can relate. They are traveling. It is a strong opening that builds
rapport with everyone in the room.
'Stories
need to connect. Stories need to be relevant.'
Another
tactic employed was that Greenwald waited until the middle of the story to
introduce himself, 'to get better reception right out of the gate.' This is a
best practice of storytelling.
Presentation
excellence calls four parts: Planning, Design, Delivery, and QA (quality
assurance).
These
four parts amount to an arc of successful storytelling. Each part has a mix of
methods, both art and science, that can be planned carefully, rehearsed, and
mastered.
Ask
yourself, 'Is it more important to be brilliant or relevant'? Remember, it's
not about you; it is about the listener and the impact you make on their views
and actions. When it's done, no one remembers your brilliance. Relevance drives
impact. Think about adding seven words at the end of each point: 'this is why
it matters to you.'
Another
tip: show up early. You'll be more relaxed. You'll also have the opportunity to
meet your audience members beforehand.
You
can always ask you audience if they see the relevance. Don't be afraid to veer
from slides or even close down Power Point.
Kill
the podium. You don't need it. Walk around. Make connections, but keep notes
handy.
Here
are some elements of successful presentations:
1.    Stories are important. Tell
one.
2.    Humor can be a good tool to
deepen connections.
3.    Improv makes things
relevant in 'a crazy way.' You have to be willing to be an in improve mode.
4.    Manage your fears. You can
find ways to help lesson fear.
5.    Talent is all about
practice. Practice and then practice more. Talent is simply hard work.

Emotions
make stories work and cultivate memory. Science has proven this fact over and
over. Stories aid recall. The more emotional, the more it lodges in the memory
bank. 
Stories
inspire. Stories teach. Stories influence.

Stories
breathe life into real issues. 
Tell yours now.