As a communicator, how are you expected to influence and inspire people when the world has gone to h*ll in a hand basket?
First off, let’s reframe change as inevitable and progress as optional. There ARE good things brewing. There’s just so much smoke we can’t see what’s cooking in the cauldron.
Let’s roll with three solid tips for cracking more Light — and hope and faith — into this weary and worried – and still wonderful – world.
Tip #1 Where to start your story
Readers and listeners love a world they recognize. Once you have a story idea, imagine the opening scene. Immediately show (don’t tell) your audience Who (no more than two people) is in the scene, Where (location) the scene is happening, and What (action) is happening. For example, “The other day I’m in the car with my mom. She asks me a question that’s tough to answer.” Want to know what happens next? Build a scene listeners imagine easily and quickly. Simple, short, specific scenes stick.
Tip #2 “Show don’t tell” when you share stories
All great stories “show don’t tell” using details, imagery and emotion. The great paradox of storytelling is “the more personal the story, the more universal story.” We are all emotional creatures. Despite not having the exact lived experience of your audience, you DO share feelings like love, frustration, hope, disappointment, belonging. The underbelly of leadership and persuasive storytelling is that the feelings you most want to inspire in others, you and your story must radiate on page and stage.
Tip #3: Guiding your audience to reflect (not react)
Reflection questions invite listeners to reflect on their own lives. Asking questions are a powerful way to build trust and rapport. Reflective inquiry makes your speaking personal, conversational, interactive and helps reinforce learning. You can scatter reflection questions throughout your presentation (e.g., on yet another %^&*%^& Zoom call!) such as: “Have you ever…?” “Ever feel like…?” “Do you…?” “You know when…?” “Why do you think…?” “Who in your life…?” (Note the use of you rather than anyone.)
‘member: you are anchored in rock. Shine. We all need your strength and smile, kid.
♥ Shannon ♥