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January 2013- In This Issue
  •    My best wishes to you and your family for the coming year
  •  Nine no-no's in storytelling
Quotations of the month:
 “Because there is a natural storytelling urge and ability in all human beings, even just a little nurturing of this impulse can bring about delightful and astonishing results.”  Nancy Mellon, The  Art of Storytelling

Most speakers realize that the use of stories is imperative for selling their ideas, services and products, in essence, for creating some change in their audience’s thoughts, emotions and/or actions; however, most speakers don’t realize that telling stories to influence, inspire or persuade others necessitates the proper techniques in structure, content and delivery. Do you happen to be one of those speakers, who may not yet have learned the essentials of storytelling?
There are many essentials, but given this month’s letter: N, I chose to discuss only NINE.
 Which ones are you already utilizing in your stories when you speak? Which ones do you need to adopt and nurture?
 Nine No-no’s in Storytelling

 1.      Telling a false or untrue story, or someone else’s story that you tell as your own,thus instilling audience’s doubt, deception and denial of you as a credible authority on the topic. 

 2.      Taking a long time to get into the body or conflict of the story and losing them before you even get into your story.

 3.      Telling a story with too many characters, events, scenes creating audience’s boredom,  lack of interest and losing them in the details… ‘condense to connect’ (C.Valentine)… condense time, scenes, events, dialogue  to make it shorter and clearer for your audience and hold their interest… state only  what is necessary to drive your point home.

 4.      Telling a story with no message, keeping the audience wondering why you are telling this story, what’s in it for them, and consequently, losing them.

 5.      Telling a story in narration sounding like a report and not create a balance between narration and dialogue; when using dialogue, once again, condense it to drive the emotional truth home in a concise precise take away message so it can be remembered and repeated when listeners have to make future life decisions.

 6.      Telling a story with no emotional change in a character (D.LaCroix) making it appear as a documentary… listeners must hear and see a positive emotional shift in a character for them to want to take action themselves; demonstrate non-verbal body language in re-living those shifts.

 7.      Telling a story and never touching base with your audience by interjecting reflection questions with pauses for them to ponder on their own life situations, obstacles, struggles.

 8.      Telling a story and leaving unanswered questions in the minds of the audiencecausing them to remain stuck at that point in your story and not move on with you.

 9.      Telling a story without creating different physical scenes on the platform confusing the audience re where and when an event took place.

 Well, dear speaking colleague, of the above nine no-no’s in Storytelling, which ones do you still need to adopt and nurture to become a masterful storyteller? Can you think of other no-no’s that you see speakers use and therefore create a disconnection with their audiences?

 Join me next month when we discuss the letter O as it relates to yet another storytelling skill!
 Best speaking ever in 2013!
 Kathryn   :-)

 Reminder that my book is available in:

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or call me at: 239 961 5192 SW Florida (February/March, April)

Canadian Association of
Professional Speakers
Kathryn MacKenzie, M.Ed. DTM 
Presentation Skills Instructor | Keynote Speaker | Author

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