Public Speaking – Setting Up a Story

Last week, I was working with a client who had created an impressive presentation on the people of New Guinea. He had created a PowerPoint presentation, that consisted of these gorgeous photos he had taken himself during a trip to that far away land, that he augmented witih his many stories of his trip and many fascinating facts about New Guinea and the people who live there.

And while my client really knew what he was talking about, he had a tendency to slide in sideways when setting up his stories or segments. Rather than state a point, a fact or launch into a story, he would say something like, "What you see here…" or "Oh, yes, and this is where…" rather than start with a strong, clear sentence.

And all of this brings me to a recent post on Tom Antion’s blog, Great Public Speaking, where he gives you some Don’ts, and a few Do’s, when it comes to setting up a story.

Some good don’t’s in Tom’s post are:

Don’t say the words funny, reminds me of, or story.

Don’t say, I heard a good one the other day…

Never say, I don’t know if I should tell this one. If there is any doubt whatsoever that a story is not appropriate for a particular group, leave it out.

Tom’s advice on starting a story is this:

The best way to start a story is to get right into it. You should be into the story before anyone realizes it is a story. That way they are already deeply involved and don’t have time to resist.

Tom has a lot more good advice over at this blog. You may want to put it into your Google Reader. 

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