The Story here starts with a book I read a couple of years ago, titled indeed Story. Written by Robert McKee and dubbed the screenwriters’ bible I remember enjoying it and learning from it. I picked it up because I thought it could be interesting for my public speaking business, since the presentations built on a story are normally the most effective.
Surely it was useful, movies are an art based on storytelling. Although it is not related to speaking before a group the cardinal principles are the same, you can easily apply them when preparing a speech.
On top of that it changed the way I looked at films. Considerations that before I was doing subconsciously now are explicit thoughts in my mind. The hero-villain relationship, how the protagonist accidentally get more distant from her goal and so on.
Well even here there’s a connection to public speaking, lots of people who attended my Successful Presentation workshop (or my eLearning versions) tell me that now when they sit in others’ gigs they look at the speaker with a more technique aware eye. Some comment with me about text on slides, speaking at the wall, non-words, posture and so on.
The point is we (and by we I really mean your audience at the next presentation) do it always. Like it or not, that is what it happens. People will love a movie and refer it to others based on how good it is, regardless if they are going to critically analyse it or not. A good storytelling, beautifully told, will resonate with people, no matter at what level they look at it. In a similar way when you stand in front of an audience they will assess your credibility based on several factors (like the voice, posture, gestures, eye contact, …etc) even if they don’t realise it. As an example, if your voice is going to be monotone likely they’ll find the presentation boring, though they may not put their fingers on the reason.
So what is The Story? If you want to be effective when public speaking, you should understand the principles behind. How people communicate, interact and learn is extremely important, and when it comes to be on the receiving end, the difference between an educated mind and another one is only on the choice of words, not the final outcome. And the book? Read it!