Re-experience your stories

Broadway actors relive stories each time they perform. It’s how they keep their material fresh and engage an audience show after show. You can do the same. If you’re telling the story about the time you got lost in a strange city at night  and there’s no one around to guide you, re-create that scene. Don’t be melodramatic or ridiculous. But narrate the story as if you’re still in the moment, and you’ll increase its impact on your audience. Use evocative, descriptive words. Enhance them with your stance and gestures.

One CEO re-enacted the moment when his CFO came into his office and recommended that they *not* invest in subprime mortgages. The story is riveting partly because audiences know, in hindsight, how high the stakes were—but also because the CEO lures people by describing the scene. He describes the wood-paneled room, the view out the window on a clear day, and the moment of his razor’s-edge decision—a decision that ultimately saved the company hundreds of millions of dollars. He then acknowledges his CFO for his sage advice at this critical juncture. Rarely does someone approach a speaker weeks after a presentation to say, “I loved your third point on leadership.” What people do say, however, is “I still think of the story you told…”

To learn more about infusing your presentation with stories, explore the free multimedia version of Resonate.

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