Bring Your Presentation Alive With Stories

TJ Walker
A free video tutorial from TJ Walker
BestSelling Personal Development & Habits Expert
4.4 instructor rating • 188 courses • 956,005 students

Lecture description

Homework: Think of one story that dramatizes each one of your five key messages. Create a presentation outline that now includes your five key messages as well as a few words to describe the story you will tell for each one.

Learn more from the full course

Public Speaking: You Can be a Great Speaker within 24 Hours

Public Speaking - Give fantastic speeches, presentations and PowerPoint talks. Never be a Mediocre presenter again.

01:50:55 of on-demand video • Updated November 2020

  • To learn how to 1. Look comfortable and confident when giving a presentation. 2. Be understood. 3. Be memorable. 4. Get your audience to take the action you want.
English [Auto] So you've narrowed your key messages down to just five. That's great but we can't just tell people. Here are my five messages. Got to go every 30 seconds. Does it work like that. You've got to do everything you can in the time you have with your speech or your presentation to make those messages not only understood but remembered. Now let me tell you a secret here. I say it's a secret. Every book on public speaking says this and yet nobody ever does it so itself. Now it's a basic concept that doesn't sink through. You need to have a story for everyone to your message. What's the biggest difference between great speakers and awful ones and average ones is that great speakers have a story to flesh out every single message point they have. It's not a luxury it's not just to open the speech it's not that close not to be funny. It's to illustrate the point so the audience can remember it. Now here's the other big fact of life ever and I mean every single client I have who's awful is boring who just does a data dump or he's just average. They never use stories. They just go in a straight forward way. Here's a fact. Here's a bullet point here's the number it's it's straightforward factual stuff and it's awful. Nobody remembers it and it's not interesting. Now there's a lot of confusion about stories people tell me all the time will teach you I love stories but I am not a natural storyteller or I I'm in finance and I'm just giving the numbers or I'm giving a purely technical speak. Well let me disabuse you of those notions right now. There is no such thing as a financial speech or a technical speech or a PowerPoint speech. Those are all just silly concepts we have in our head when we're giving speeches. There's only two types of speeches in the entire world. You know what they are. That's right. It's either good or it's bad. From the standpoint of the audience when you are in the audience you're not thinking Wow I sure am glad this person is giving me a formal presentation. This sure is a good financial prize. Now that's not what you're thinking. The only thing you're thinking of when you're in the audience is this is good. It's interesting is useful. I mean to pay attention or this guy is awful it's boring it's tedious Alica the PowerPoint later. Meanwhile let me check up on e-mail from the office. That's the only thing going on in the minds of your audience so great speakers adapt to the mindset of their audience and that's what you've got to do. So you've got to figure out what are the ideas you're trying to communicate. And now how can you use every tool to make it come alive and the number one tool you have at your disposal. Here's a story now a story doesn't have to be funny it doesn't have to be overly emotional. The only thing a story is is you recounting a real conversation you had with a real person about a real problem in a real place. What was said what that person said to you what you said back how it was resolved and how you felt about it. That's it that's all there is to it. All of us tell stories all the time. You start off on the way home and you fill up with gas and someone cuts you off and curses at you. You know then go home and tell your spouse twenty two. I left the office at five thirty two I pulled into a gas station in 5:33. There was a minor altercation in unpleasantries were exchanged at 5:44 I left. I mean that's kind of how most people give speeches. Boring. Straightforward fact fact. You're going to say to your spouse can't believe what happened today. I was pulling into the Exxon and this guy comes in hugging hugging him looking around he's like get out of my way buddy. And he proceeded to take the gas pump had put it in as if he owned the pot. I mean that's how human beings talk. Why not drive a car. But I think you get my point. All human beings tell stories all day long. Now what's different about a speech is people tell themselves Oh I'm not giving a formal presentation. We push away all the stories and just stick to the facts and be concise. Let me tell you right now your goal in giving a speech is never and I mean never to be concise your goal is to communicate you can be concise stand up set and after 30 seconds nobody remembered anything you said you accomplished absolutely nothing but maybe speak for 20 minutes maybe three hours if you're giving people good value if you're really helping them. If you're doing something to make their lives better or their jobs better their bottom line better they'll listen to you for a long time. Now I'm not saying just go on and on for three hours but your focus should be on making your ideas remembered and making sure you have useful ideas not simply being concise. That is a false goal that many many speakers have stories sometimes take a long time maybe tell a story in 30 seconds. It's not overly complicated but if you have a point that you want people to remember you're better off giving a story to make it meaningful. One of the points I'm going to stress in our next lesson is really to practice on video. If you want to see for yourself where you are what your strengths are what your weaknesses are and how to improve. Now I've been using video ever since I started 30 years ago and there was a time when it was difficult you had to bring in some production crew and cameras were this big. These days everyone's surrounded by video cameras you've got one in your cell phone likely iPads. Webcams are everywhere. It's really really cheap. Now I remember a time more than a decade ago I was doing my very first training over in Eastern Europe and I was in a former dictator's Palace and it was quite elaborate. I wasn't training a dictator. I was training a popularly elected prime minister of a small eastern European country but I was a little nervous. It was my first time in that part of the world. Prime Minister has all of his guards his bodyguards with machine guns around we're ready to practice. The prime minister's speech. And he said to me T.J. do you mind if this first time we practice in my native land he was fluent in English. So do you mind if we practice in my native language. Sure no problem. Mr. Prime Minister. So he stood up gave his speech and he proceeded to do this job of you know he basically read his speech. He asked me what I thought. I said well let's watch the video together. So we watch the video. He then said T.J. What did you think. I said I'll tell you what I think. But first I want you to tell me exactly what you thought I said and I'll tell you I'll tell you what I want to hear your opinion first. And I thought wow this kid was really born. It was awful. And what do I do. I'm surrounded by armed guards and a whole nother place of the world. I don't know what the situation is. Some of them look quite menacing. I tell them the truth. I thought you know what he's paying me a bunch of money to get him the truth. I'll tell him the truth. So I said Mr. Prime Minister with all due respect I don't know what you said but you bored the hell out of me. He looked shocked. He looked at me. He looked at all of his armed guards. He looked back at the TV and then he said T.J. you're right. It was boring as hell. It's awful. Here's what we got to do. And it is his speech. He threw it away. And we did what I had to do with most of my clients. We got a clean sheet of paper. We got a pen and we started from scratch and we tried to boil it down to just five messages and we did the speech again and we keep videotaping it until he could look at it and say hey now this is a guy I would want to listen to. OK so what I do there all I did was tell a story. Was it funny now. Was it overly dramatic. Not really but it was real. I mean that actually happened to me. And all I'm trying to do is drive home the point that it is important to videotape your practice because you'll see things that you weren't aware of. You'll be more aware of your strengths and weaknesses. And it's really the only way to get a sense of how you're doing. So it's a simple story. It only took a couple of minutes but it had a character. Had the prime minister had a setting. I mean a dictator's palace isolated in Eastern Europe it had a problem. This guy was giving a really boring solution. He did have a solution. He had to look at it and figure out what he liked and liked. And we redid it and had a little bit of motion that was a little bit nervous about a telling him that B being in foreign circumstances so it had the elements is that the greatest story ever told. Now is it going to win Pulitzer Prize. No but it does help people remember that message a little more effectively. And that's got to be your big problem that you've got to focus on. How do you get people to remember your ideas. As I mentioned earlier the big problem most speakers have is not that they break out and flop sweat. It's not that they freeze. It's not even that they're PowerPoint stops or breaks that or a are or breaks but that does happen. The number one problem most speakers have is they stand up. They give their presentation their ties straight to their dresses just straight hair the way they want it with whatever they have and everything goes according to plan. But Dan if you want to round the audience or the conference table afterwards with a hundred dollar bill and put it in front of people you can keep that money to do is down me to ideas that speaker talked about. Guess what. You would never have to give away any money. That's the real tragedy of most speakers. Stories are the solution when I ask audiences all over the world what do they remember the most about great speakers. They remember two things the passion and the stories and they're linked because when people are telling stories that's when their passion comes out. So a lot of people have the mistaken notion that all fit a story and if there's time. And yet there's never a time because they have so many datapoints a story is not a luxury it is a fundamental building block of what it takes to communicate effectively. Now just as I'm mentioning everything in this video this whole series of videos there is a section in the books that I give you for the homework. At the very end of the whole course that will tell you exactly every one of these elements in the story of give you even more examples of anything I'm talking about here. There is a chapter in both of the books that I've given you. So don't worry about writing everything down now. But the fundamental thing is you've got to have a story. Examples are also good. Case studies are good. All of these things will help your audience remember that's what's going to make your speech successful or not. It's not about having Burbeck die contact and timbre of voice or lowering your voice. All these things people think that if you have interesting important relevant messages and great stories that make it come alive. You'll be seen as a great speaker even if your tie is crooked or you have some arms of others. Or people forget all that. If you have good compelling stories. Now people ask me Oh T.J. Can I make up stories. Well you could but why would you want to. That's hard work. The beauty of a story is you can see it I mean I can see that Prime Minister still even though it's been more than a decade the best stories are made up. It's simply you recounting a real conversation you had with the real person and you can see that that makes it not abstract abstraction is your enemy as a speaker. Not because the people you're talking to are stupid and don't understand abstraction. Abstraction is a problem because without people seeing it they don't remember it. Think of it this way what's easier for you to remember if you just met someone your name on a business card or their face. For most of us it's the face that's easy to remember not the name. That's because you could actually visualize a face you see a face. Words on a business card Those are just abstractions so here's your homework. You need to come up with a story for each one of the five message points you created in your earlier homework. And if you tell me where you generally have a story for that. Guess what that means it's not an important point. Now let's say it's purely a financial presentation. If profits are up 22 percent from last quarter you could say well that's just a number of stories. There is a story. What is driving that growth. What's the one product what's the one thing that happened to the economy. What's the what element of publicity that drove that. Tell me about a conversation you had with your number one client or your number one salesperson talking about this new growth engine. There is a story for anything unless you tell me that the only thing you do all day long is sit back and read the paper. And at five o'clock you get an e-mail from your boss saying good job go home. All of us have stories to tell because we all have phone conversations. If nothing else we're the client or a customer or colleague who's got a problem and you've got to deal with it. Those are the stories that will make your presentation come a lot so that's your homework right now. You don't have to write it out word for word but you need a few words to trigger this memory and you think about how you're going to say it so now you need to have an outline on a single sheet of paper where a single computer screen your five big bullet points your five main ideas and then you need two or three words that will trigger in your own memory a story for each one of your points. That's your homework go ahead and do it right now.