Presentation Stories: The Night Before Christmas

by Clement Clarke Moore

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

The children were nestled all snug in their beds, While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads; And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap, Had just settled down for a long winter's nap, When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter. Away to the window I flew like a flash, Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below, When, what to my wondering eyes should appear, But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer, With a little old driver, so lively and quick, I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick. More rapid than eagles his coursers they came, And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;"Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!On, Comet! on Cupid! on, Donder and Blitzen! To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall! Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly, When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky, So up to the house-top the coursers they flew, With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too. And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof The prancing and pawing of each little hoof. As I drew in my hand, and was turning around,

Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound. He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot, And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot; A bundle of toys he had flung on his back, And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack. His eyes -- how they twinkled! his dimples how merry! His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry! His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow, And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow; The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth, And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath; He had a broad face and a little round belly, That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly. He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself; A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread; He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work, And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk, And laying his finger aside of his nose, And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose; He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,

And away they all flew like the down of a thistle. But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night."

Presentation: Telling Stories

Telling Stories

Tell stories. Paint word pictures that create images in the listeners’ minds. If they can see it they are more likely to understand and remember your message. The best public speakers are storytellers Use stories and anecdotes to illustrate and reinforce the main points of your presentation. Learn to master the skill of storytelling. Listen to newscasters, entertainers and other speakers.

The best stories are personal. Because they are yours - they are easier to remember and they make your presentation unique. We listen to stories. We hate lectures. If you forgot that lesson - just ask your kids. The way to find personal stories that can be used in your presentations is to write them down. Make a list of significant things that happened to you and those around you; the first time… the best, the worst, the biggest mistake, the best break, the greatest ah-ha, the funniest moment, the most frustrating incident, the dumbest thing you did, the most embarrassing moment…

The things that hurt you the most make the best stories to tell in your presentations. Rehearse your stories to edit them down into a short story that is easy to listen to. The hardest thing for you might be to leave out details. The hardest thing for your audience is listening to you describe unnecessary details. Just make the point.

The above is an excerpt from Secrets of Power Presentations by Peter Urs Bender.

George Torok

The Speech Coach for Executives

Presentation Skills Training