Make the Connection

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Once you have your story, you need to share it effectively. Let’s look at a crucial piece of storytelling: connection. Assume that your content is strong: it’s specific, efficient and authentic.  Now what?

Using your voice and body to articulate a well-crafted story is an art. Some people love it.  Most people don’t.  In fact, most people dread public speaking.  Add the additional layer of a camera taping the presentation and most folks want to head for the hills.

The good news?  There are fairly simple tips that will get you most of the way there.  Now, they aren’t going to turn you into Martin Luther King, Jr. or Winston Churchill, but they will give you some pegs to hang on to as you head out to present.

Mind: Avail yourself of basic meditation techniques to get in the right headspace before you begin.  The simpler, the better.  It can be as easy as breathing in for a count of 7 and exhaling for a count of 7 (I like 7.  You can try 6, 8, or even 10).   No one needs to know that you are doing it— you can do it silently, with your eyes open.  It’s simple, but invaluable in terms of centering yourself, slowing down your heart rate, and starting off on the right foot.

Body:  Mom was right:  stand up straight.  Slouching is a big no-no and a confidence killer. When your audience sees you slouch, you appear less in control.  Create a strategic blocking plan, so that you have a clear plan of when you will move and how.  Advanced planning takes the guesswork out of what to do with your hands and when.  While it might seem fake at the beginning, the more you practice it, the more effortless it will appear.

Voice:  Work to find your optimal vocal tone.  Use your phone: record yourself, listen and make changes.  Now do it again.  And again.  And again.  The instant feedback will help you make micro-adjustments to find your best vocal production, in terms of both ease and quality.

Clearly, this is just the tip of the iceberg.   We can spend hours on these principles, working through specific hacks and tricks tailored to particular needs. That said, these basics will get you started, so that you can enjoy, rather than dread, sharing your story.

Tony Howell1 Comment