Develop Your Storytelling Skills
Developing your storytelling skills require us to reflect first on it’s everyday nature. For example, think about your purchases last month. For most, the buying process inevitably includes a recommendation. You took on board the oldest form of advertising known as word of mouth. In other words, we will seek or give opinions, share experiences, tell or listen to a ‘Story’. Proof that all of us have and are in fact already Storytellers.
So, the bigger question is why do we experience barriers to sharing our story? What are we consequently missing out on? Is there a way beyond barriers to Supercharge our Story?
You too can Develop Your Storytelling Skills by implementing lessons we have gleaned coaching 1000s of Storytellers; professional and aspiring.
Interestingly we noted themes that give way to powerful insights and lessons. However, first we must address where the barriers to effective Storytelling come from.
If like many of our clients you are analytical, it is worth assuring yourself of the science and facts suggesting Storytelling is no longer a nice to have.
Neuroscience reveals that effective storytelling creates changes in the brain for both you and your audience. Mirror neurones, neural coupling and dopamine levels all shift when listening or telling a story which is explains why stories are memorable and impactful. Which explains why so many successful individuals and businesses using their Stories.
If doing so effectively they build attraction, drive consumption and create essential changes in consumer behaviour.
Why You Are Not Sharing Your Story?
Whilst a significant proportion of our clients fear Public Speaking or wish to improve their Impact and Delivery. An equal proportion lack Clarity and/or Confidence in their Personal or Business Story. Many cite an array of barriers that prevent them from harnessing the enormous benefits.
The reason why can be illustrated by a familiar example. Picture the social situation. You’re at a work night out, after returning from your travels. You experienced adventure in Africa or wild camping in South America, yet loudmouth Dave’s story about the previous Friday night-out dominates the catch up! You find yourself sharing part of the story, look around at the group of listeners and think….’they look bored…over to you Dave tell us about what happened when you were trollied!’
Familiar? Why this happens is connected to the C word. Confidence! Most of us lack it – especially when having to share our Stories in front of a group. This is not the kind of physiological or competence-based confidence in the classical sense. The stand-up straight, chest out (which is for-sure part of it). It is centred on the interaction or lack of it.
Sharing Your Personal Story can make you feel no one is listening
For most the act of story sharing can feel too disconnected, too much like a monologue.
Picture it. You begin sharing and half-way through your audience (appear possibly bored, even distracted) That heart-sinking, gut-wrenching, demoralising self-doubt begins! You feel no one is interested and you naturally lose momentum.
Sharing A Message that Matters is Inherently Hard
You may be completely at ease catching up with one or two people. Sharing your stories, displaying passion, anxieties, joy or doubt. Add an audience (beyond 6 people) and there is a problem.
With intimate conversation, people communicate much-like a game of Tennis. Taking it in turns to set direction based on responses this in turn enriches and fuels the next response.
Getting live feedback from each other is the way we bounce off each other. Whether it is nods, Yes’s or other bits gesture based feedback it feels good. We feel a sense of being understood, a feeling of assurance as we relay information. The stimuli we receive whether verbal or non informs the speaker on what direction to take. It helps validate us and our message.
The World of Blank Audience Faces
Whilst the following point is an entire subject itself. It’s important to understand that most audience members will appear poker faced or blank.
There are a host of reasons why this is the case including the fact that audience members maybe concentrating (think of someone reading a book- focussed face) or as I tell people in my seminars picture the BLANK.. laptop or cinema face – the face people have when absorbed in something and when they think no one is watching!
The fact is unless you inform and remind audience members you CAN SEE them; they will behave as if they are invisible! The social norms, and the rules of audience etiquette mean many they will feel comfortable to simply just sit quietly with a blank expression!
For the new Storyteller speaking to a larger group, if this vital piece of expression and therefore feedback is missing something more sinister starts to fill to void. This will later your feelings, your thinking and ultimately how you tell your story. Please welcome the inner voice/critic.
Your Inner Critic Leads
In the absence of external stimuli many of us create our own. As we try to share our Story the inner voice overrides the feedback loop and this is a root cause of storytelling failure.
You start to play out assumptions and the sinking feeling of doubt takes over. The familiar downward spiral takes over and impedes the Story you share; the way you deliver it and the impact you could make.
So, understanding this leads to some of the answers. Exceptional storytelling requires skill, feedback and practice. In other words, you need to develop the art of deep confidence in addition to a Story that is well-crafted, one that has genuine substance and will inspire.
Build and Tell Stories that Get Results
Over the last decade we have consistently pioneered coaching some of the best speakers and 1000s of aspiring speakers across the UK and the world. We have documented, synthesised and tested emerging themes, which when honed will help you develop your Storytelling Skills.
This is what underpins the many golden principles forming our Signature Story Blueprint used to help executive speaking clients build their Superpower Stories.
To receive your Part 2 of this Article – Share your Feedback in the Comments and Email firstname.lastname@example.org with a request explaining what you would like to do with a powerful story and we will share the second part from our Signature Blueprint to help you develop your Storytelling Skills.
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