TJ Walker, friend of Evoca and one of the one of the leading authorities on media and presentation training in the world, shares his insights about the power of using stories in your presentations. His message: dialog makes your message genuine. Even if you’re not a born public speaker or joke-teller, the humor and emotion of a true story can put a smile on the faces of your audience members or an “uh huh” of understanding and connection.
Here is TJ’s sound advice, excerpted from his recent blog article:
Most of us use dialogue quite naturally when we are telling our friends and families interesting stores about what happened in our day. Many great humorous stories are told in a dialogue format. But the first thing most business presenters do is to strip the dialogue out of presentations because they think it is somehow not “professional” or “businesslike.” Nothing could be further from the truth. Of course it is possible to say things that are unprofessional during a presentation, but that is a function of what you are saying, not because you said it in an interesting manner.
When you tell a story using dialogue, several positive things occur all at once:
- By introducing another character, you make your story more interesting.
- Speaking in dialogue takes you away from the position of a God-like narrator from above and puts you down on the ground in a non-abstract position for your audience.
- When you say the words that someone else said to you, you change the tone of your voice. This makes you less monotonous to listen to.
- When you insert dialog, you naturally pause in-between characters. This pausing makes you sound more conversational and more interesting.
- With dialog, you might even slightly mimic the other person’s tone of voice, thus providing more sound variety for your audience.
- By using dialog, you are by definition, making your presentation more conversational, less abstract, and therefore easier to follow for your audience.
- By using dialog, you are necessarily slowing down the delivery of new facts to your audience, thus giving them a chance to catch up and absorb your most important points.
Of course it is possible to give a good presentation without using stores with dialog, but you are making it much harder on yourself if you try. All great speakers sprinkle dialogue throughout their presentations, no matter how complex, difficult or technical the subject matter. All lousy, boring speakers studiously avoid the use of dialogue.
Thank you, TJ for your permission to share your words of wisdom!
Here are a few more ideas from the Evoca team:
- Practice your presentations — stories and all — using Evoca Express. You can use your phone, Browser Mic, or Skype to record and then email the recording to a trusted friend or mentor to give you feedback before you step into the lights. Try it out at: https://www.evoca.com/signup/signup.jsp
- Share your recorded presentation online on your website, blog, and Facebook page using Evoca’s viral Flash player widgets. Use the copy/paste code we auto-generate for you. If you record your final “live” presentation, you can upload the recording to your Evoca account and then embed the Flash player widget exactly where you want it to appear. Just like this:
- “Tweet” the recording to your Twitter account using Evoca’s handy TweeVoca feature that enables you to “click and post” Twitter audio updates.
- Ask your fans, supporters, and customers for feedback. You can embed a Browser Mic in your WordPress blog, other blogs and your website to invite audio comments. Keep the recordings private to help your learning process, or if you want to share the comments with the world online, post them using an Evoca Flash player widget.
TJ’s article – Media Training Worldwide – Copyright 2010
Evoca LLC – Copyright 2010