Storytelling public speaking

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Don’t Be a Presenter—Be a Storyteller

July 17, 2018

Public speaking can be a huge challenge for some, but numerous TED Talk presenters have mastered the art of captivating an audience through public speaking. How? They go beyond facts and figures to tell a story. You don’t have to be a TED Talk-level speaker to incorporate these engaging techniques. By taking a storytelling approach next time you’re speaking in front of your office, a new client, or at a real estate conference, you’ll keep your audience intrigued, focused, and engaged.

Visme, a presentation, design, and infographic platform, suggests starting out by brainstorming all the ideas and points you want to make on paper, including your overarching message. Is your goal to inform, entertain, persuade, or inspire? Once you’ve chosen the direction of your message, you need to figure out how to relay it. Here are four ways you can use various storytelling techniques in your next speaking engagement.

  1. The pendulum effect. Structure your presentation so that you move back and forth between facts and stories, shifting seamlessly between "what is" and “what could be." Start out with a reality of your audience’s (buyers, sellers, etc.) current world, then juxtapose it with a description of a possibility.
  2. The step-by-step method. Whether you’re speaking to agents or clients, there’s a lot to learn in real estate. An explanation storytelling approach starts with an outline of where the topic is now and where you’re going with it. Continue from there with a step-by-step approach until you’ve communicated the information at hand.
  3. Arch your pitch. Common in real estate, “the pitch” structure of storytelling starts with the windup (a summary of where things are) followed by the hurdle (the problem or conflict facing the audience). Climb over the arch of your story by presenting options on how to solve the issue at hand. Finally, close by showing how inspiring one of the options is and how you’re going to make it happen.
  4. The fix. Objections are a regular occurrence with clients. This story structure starts with the current conditions of a situation, then taking the audience/clients’ objection into consideration, and finally using data or another opportunity to paint a hopeful picture. Make sure to locate any existing evidence to give your argument more credibility.