Mar 23 2015

Vocal Impact Tip: 3 Steps and a million reasons to share stories

Published by under Content,Public Speaking

But how do you find a story that inspires?

Last week, StoryCorps was awarded the $1M TED prize.  The prize didn’t go to a technologist or an architect or a scientist. It went to a company that exists simply to instruct and encourage people to tell and record their stories. They do this to show that we are all connected. In another big nod to storytelling, SAG-AFTRA joined President Obama’s 1M hour mentoring challenge, pledging to teach storytelling to people all over the nation.   Why? Because stories connect us in ways that data never can.

Stories are conduits between people. You tell me your story and it reminds me of my own. But we also know, that doesn’t mean your story will motivate, challenge or inspire me. In order for your story to do that, you have to know WHAT motivates, challenges and inspires me. It’s not just any story that does the trick.

How do you find the right story to tell at the right time? You have to be a good story listener. Here’s how to cultivate that skill:

  1. Listen to your audience/employees/fans and discover what stories they tell. Capture their stories. Pick them apart, and use those or similar stories when you want to connect with that audience.
  2. Spend time getting clear on your intention for the stories you tell. What do you hope to accomplish? What do you want others to do as a result of hearing your stories? Make sure that your intention is in alignment with your audience.
  3. Practice. Need I say more?

For more on this topic, please read The Storyteller’s Voice is Everyone’s Business.

© Flynt | Dreamstime.comStory Of Success Photo



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Mar 03 2015

Vocal Impact Weekly Tip: Purpose and Repartée

Published by under Intention,Public Speaking there method to your madness?

Recently, a client asked me how to prepare to network at an upcoming conference that she will be attending. She is somewhat reserved and doesn’t enjoy small talk.  We discussed lots of the basics, but in the end, her strategy wasn’t clear until she understood her intention for talking to people she doesn’t know. And this helped her get a bit more comfortable with the situation.

Compare these two intentions:

My intention is to use small talk when I talk to people and collect business cards so that I can find more people for my network.


My intention is to talk with others in order to discover and explore whether or not there is a possibility of building a relationship that is mutually beneficial. When there is that possibility, I will collect business cards and follow up via email or phone.

True intention is an aim that guides action.  The second intention contains an aim with much more vision than the first, and creates a real purpose for talking to others along with an action plan.  Knowing your intention is the key to getting your communication right in specific situations.  Here are some more tips to make it easier and more productive to network:

1.     Be curious. Ask questions.  This helps you get to know others, and also take the heat off yourself.

2.     Prepare a good, short introductory story about yourself.  Distill it down to your name, what you do, the problem you are seeking to solve in your role, and what results/solutions you are seeing.

3.     Think of three topics you are ready to discuss with others, and practice aloud what you might say about them.

And if you find that you talk so much at conferences that you lose your voice, please see my post Help for tired voices. 

© Aliasching | Dreamstime.comConversation Photo

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