Saturday, January 2, 2016


Everyone loves a good story. The power of stories in your presentation make it likely that your audience will remember your message long after your final call to action. What makes a good story? Every word that draws an image for the listener helps you capture their attention and keep them engaged. This simple equation will help you craft a powerful story ...

When + Who + What ... provides you a great story template. Example, "it was a hot mid-summer's day and Jenny, Jackie, Josie and Mr. Whiskers jumped at the chance to ride in the pull along raft behind the large power boat." Can you imagine this happening? From the photo, finish writing the story. The opening words of the classic Moby Dick are timeless, because they paint a powerful picture. In case you find it difficult to relate to the older language, I have provided a paraphrase.

Call me Ishmael. Some years ago - never mind how long precisely - having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world. It is a way I have of driving off the spleen, and regulating the circulation. Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off--then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can.

Consider this first paragraph from Moby Dick in the vernacular ...
Call me Al. A while back - don't worry about how long exactly - almost completely broke, and nothing holding me back, I thought I would join the Navy and see the world. Spending time at sea is my way of dealing with boredom. When I start getting depressed because it's cold outside I start thinking negative thoughts. I actually have been so depressed that I tried to pick myself up by crashing funerals. When that doesn't work I resort to getting drunk and start a fight. At that moment, I realize that I should just get on a slow boat to China.
The next time you are given the opportunity to give a speech, remember to start your presentation with a graphic and appropriate story.

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