Using Your Life Experience
Read this article, which explores how to integrate stories into your presentation as supporting material.
The Importance of Stories
Because human life is narratively rooted, incorporating storytelling into public speaking can be a powerful way of reaching your audience.
- Storytelling is the conveying of events in words, sound and/or images, often by improvisation or embellishment.
- Stories are universal in that they can bridge cultural, linguistic and age-related divides.
- Communicating by using storytelling techniques can be a more compelling and effective route of delivering information than that of using only dry facts.
- Storytelling: The conveying of events in words, sound and/or images, often by improvisation or embellishment.
Storytelling is the conveying of events in words, sound, and/or images, often by improvisation or embellishment. Stories or narratives have been shared in every culture as a means of entertainment, education, cultural preservation, and instilling moral values.
Telling a Story: A seafarer tells the young Sir Walter Raleigh and his brother the story of what happened out at sea.
The Power of Storytelling
Storytelling is a powerful tool, a means for sharing experiences and knowledge. It's one of the ways we learn. Peter L. Berger says human life is narratively rooted, humans construct their lives and shape their world into homes in terms of these groundings and memories. Stories are universal in that they can bridge cultural, linguistic, and age-related divides.
The Utility of Storytelling in Public Speaking
Because human life is narratively rooted, incorporating storytelling into public speaking can be a powerful way of reaching your audience. For example, communicating by using storytelling techniques can be a more compelling and effective route of delivering information than that of using only dry facts.
How and When to Use Narrative
Presenters use narratives to support their points and make their speeches more compelling.
- A narrative is relayed in the form of a story.
- The greatest story commandment is to make the audience care.
- Your story should not be forced; the audience should perceive it as natural part of your speech.
- Narrative: The systematic recitation of an event or series of events. (see also storytelling)
How and When to Use Narrative
Whatever the purpose of your speech, you are going to need a way to support your statements to prove their accuracy, but a good speech also makes its points interesting and memorable.
The most common forms of support are facts, statistics, testimony, narrative, examples, and comparisons. In this unit, we are going to address narrative.
Using a Narrative: Narratives can be used to support a point that has been made or is about to be made.
Narrative takes the form of a story. Presenters use narratives to support a point that was already made or to introduce a point that will soon be made. Narratives can be combined with facts or statistics to make them even more compelling.
How to Use a Narrative
- Storytelling points toward a single goal. Your story should not be forced, but should come across as a natural part of your speech. If your audience thinks you are telling a story just because you read that it was a good idea to do so, your story will not work.
- The task of a story is to make the audience care. Your narrative should be something that your audience can easily understand and relate to.
- Keep it short and sweet. Limit your narrative to three or four minutes at the most. Remember, you are using it to support or clarify your point. Once you have done that, move on.
- Your story is not there to replace information. It is there to put something you have said into perspective.
- The best stories paint a picture. They allow your audience to visualize what you are saying.
- Make sure your story builds over time and does not get boring. Keep your audience interested until the end.
- Do not overuse stories.
- Of course, as the old adage says, use what you know. Stories are not just about facts – they are also about communicating what you have experienced and what you personally know, and feel, to be true.
Source: Lumen Learning, https://courses.lumenlearning.com/boundless-communications/chapter/using-life-experience-narrative/
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 License.