People are moved to action in 2 ways: intellectually and emotionally. Giving of information appeals to the intellect and tends to keep audiences on the outside looking in; true communication, integrates both intellectual and emotional connections, brings the audiences into your stories and ultimately, gets your message through to them!
Since we speak to create change in others: their thoughts, feelings, and actions, you will accomplish this by using stories which has the power to incorporate both intellectual and emotional involvement.
Let's examine a few ways to create change in others, using 6 “I” concepts in your stories.
Whether you are telling a story to sell an idea, product or service, it is necessary for you to captivate you audience at the start and keep them with you until you finish speaking.
Invite the audience into your stories, don’t force them in. i.e. Rather than saying: “Four years ago, I…” you can say: “I wish you had been present with us to…” or “If you were there with me, you would have…” or “What a great time you too would have had if you…”
Involve all the audience’s senses. Bring them into your story scenes by describing the sights, sounds and smells (they won’t just hear about the scene, but re-live it with you).
Activate the audience’s imagination. Give only hints of characters’ physical descriptions; it doesn’t matter how audience see the characters as long as they can see them in their own way .i.e. “The older sophisticated professor type man came into…” How do YOU see this person?
Inject life into your stories. Lessen narration;make characters come alive by using dialogue, which is the heart of a story.
Arouse interest and intrigue in the audience’s minds. Build tension and suspense by escalating the conflict, and by instilling questions that they’re anxiously waiting to be answered.
Inspire them to take action to better their lives. Emphasize a character’s emotional change after the climax (or cure) and let the audience not only see the change but feel it, so they will be influenced to do the same.
To re-cap, involve your audience both intellectually and emotionally, deeply connect with them and inspire them towards the intended change.
I invite you to join me next month, when we examine the letter "J" as it relates to another storytelling skill.
Until then, happy speaking!