Why Highly ‘Visual Stories’ Add Serious Sparkle to Your Presentations

Tell visual storiesDon’t you just love listening to an exceptional storyteller in action – where you find yourself ‘visually’ engrossed in an unfolding story, dying to know what’s going to happen next, and mentally transported to new worlds?

In today’s post, I’m going to share a single, simple tip you can use to bring your storytelling to a new level when giving presentations – where you don’t merely chronicle events in a purely narrative fashion, but add spice, sparkle, and scintillation to stories via the ancient art of showing ahead of telling.

But, rather than tell you about this tip, I’m going to show you – courtesy of a recent interview given by the always entertaining Tom Hanks on Stephen Colbert’s Late Show.

A Lesson on First-Rate Storytelling Every Speaker Can Learn From Tom Hanks

Check out his awesome story (including a little bit of story introduction) from 06:10 to 10:34 when he talks about a recent hobnobbing yacht trip with Oprah, Bruce Springsteen, and the Obamas in Tahiti – then come back and we’ll talk about why this is just awesome:

Wasn’t that great?

Absolutely. And here’s why. Tom’s secret is that he doesn’t tell his stories, he relives them.

That’s it.

Well mostly! Of course, Tom does add a sizeable level of craft too.

But — at a basic level — if you can do what Tom did, you’ll win a great deal more audience engagement.

Tom’s reenactment of his experiences brought his story to life by causing you (his listener) to vicariously experience what he experienced when he discovered he was about to get the worst rental bike in the Polynesian islands (an undersized, rusty girl’s bike with ridiculous handlebars, one gear, and dodgy brakes) and, later, the ridicule he got from the locals as he tried to peddle past them!

And here’s what I’d like you to take from his approach to storytelling:

If you can cause your audience to ‘see, feel, and care’ more about what happens within your stories, they will inject themselves into the situations you conjure, get more from their experiences and remember more too.

And, that’s a winning formula!

If you’d like to learn how to tell a better story for you or your business, contact me at eobrien@thersc.ie. I’ll be delighted to help you.

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About Eamonn O'Brien

Public speaking master, Eamonn O'Brien is the founder of The Reluctant Speakers Club.

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