Browse Category: story telling

Speechwriting. Be your own speech writer. How to give a great speech, pitch or presentation

Speechwriting – Be your own speech writer. How to give a great speech, pitch or presentation

Mark Twain said “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog.”

One of the most important foundations to a good speech, pitch or presentation is giving a damn about what you are saying and the impact of what you say and, absolutely key, whether you believe in what you say.

Case Study.

I was hired by a client who thought employee X needed presentation training. And employee X was, I must confess, dire when presenting about the company, their portfolio and their services. But when I shifted the conversation to employee X’s hobbies, she became animated and excited, her eyes flashed, her voice changed, and she spoke and presented like a professional.

The problem with employee X was, coming from one of the major consultancies, she simply didn’t believe in the claims this small, boutique consultancy was making. She needed convincing of what value the consultancy added – not presentation training. Once she understood and saw evidence of what the consultancy had done before, she started believing and became a key member of the consultancy’s pitch team.

She became a believer.

I am a professional speech writer and storyteller. Even if I write the best speech or presentation in the world, that is not enough. The people telling the story or giving the speech or the presentation have to believe it and be passionate about what they are saying.

So are you a believer? Forget saying you are passionate about something – that is a commentator’s word. Never say it unless you are talking about someone else – never about you!!! People should KNOW that you are passionate by the way that you speak.

If you need to claim possession of passion – you probably don’t have it. In fact, every time I hear someone say “I am passionate about X,Y,Z” I think they are lying.

Storytelling tips – Stories outsell Concepts

Storytelling tips – Stories outsell Concepts

Hat-tip – the anonymous author who proves that storytelling is far more potent than bland abstract concepts and theories.

This is a great example of how stories are more effective than abstract concepts. Especially stories that are based in the real world and include normal people.

An economics professor at a local college made the statement that he had never failed a single student before but had once failed an entire class.

That class had insisted that socialism worked and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer.

The professor then said, “OK, we will have an experiment in this class on socialism. All grades would be averaged and everyone would receive the same grade so no one would fail and no one would receive an A.

After the first test, the grades were averaged and everyone got a B.

The students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were happy.

As the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too so they studied little.

The second test average was a D! No one was happy.

When the 3rd test rolled around, the average was an F.

The scores never increased as bickering, blame and name-calling all resulted in hard feelings and no one would study for the benefit of anyone else.

All failed, to their great surprise, and the professor told them that socialism would also ultimately fail because when the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great but when government takes all the reward away, no one will try or want to succeed.

Storytelling -Telling Stories is more than structure and words. Story telling is about how you make people feel.

Storytelling -Telling Stories is more than structure and words. Story telling is about how you make people feel.

Experts sometimes get it wrong.

Sometimes the storytellers and speechwriters busy crafting stories and writing speeches for business or politics forget the most important thing about good storytelling. They get too involved and excited about speech writing techniques and speech structures and the process of speech writing and storytelling.

“Isn’t that what a great story does? It makes you feel.”

Dustin Hoffman

People buy and vote emotionally and justify their ‘investment’, choices or purchases logically. A simple addition of facts that favour the required decision could win the argument. But the emotions, the feelings, behind a compelling narrative are far stronger. And when the facts underpin, and are translated into, a compelling story that is passionately and effectively delivered, you are on your way to winning.


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