Presentations: Tell a Short Story

One of my speech coaching clients in the Heath Care sector told me that she did not tell stories in her presentations because she had so little time to convey tons of information.

That is a common remark from my speech coaching clients.

And a common trap. The presenter wrongly believes that what she wants to say is so important that there is no time for fluff.

The reality is that no one really listens to what you say – until it is interesting to them. It is interesting to them when it grabs them – when it involves them – when they are in your presentation.

So, tell a story that puts them in the picture. The story could be as long as a few minutes or as short as 20 seconds - as long as it takes to put your listener in the story.

After some prompting, this client then told a wonderful story about a conversation she overheard in the waiting room. It was a heart-warming story. It illustrated a powerful lesson and it took 45 seconds to tell.

She had never told this story before because she did not appreciate the significance of it.

Maybe you can see the irony in someone from the Health Care sector not using the power of personal stories.

Guess What? That executive is now using more personal stories in her presentations. She was also recently selected to pursue an Executive MBA.

How do you express yourself when you present? Are you telling enough personal stories in your presentations?

George Torok
Speech Coach for Executives

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