A speaker, after diligently preparing and practicing a content-rich speech, presents to her audience.
She confidently shares her information and stories, and then concludes to...
scattered, polite applause.
What happened? She described her characters, the circumstances they were in, and talked about the changes they went through.
She even told the audience how they would benefit from the main message.
Unfortunately, this is not an unusual result.
No matter how much work and preparation has gone into the material, it's all for naught if the delivery is not up to par.
That's why this next storytelling tool is critical to story development.
Some of the best speakers in the world believe that it is at the heart of storytelling.
That tool is...
Think about most stories you hear.
Doesn't the speaker usually give you a 'report?' For example, "John did this" or "Sally said that.
" This is considered to be speaking in monologue.
In other words, you're giving the details of a story, much like a reporter.
Dialogue is sharing the story from the perspective of the characters involved.
The impact on the audience between the two is very different.
Consider two descriptions of the same story, one in monologue and one in dialogue: Version 1: Janet was visiting with her client Mary, who was elderly and lived alone.
She told Janet how much her new flooring meant to her.
Janet seemed surprised; after all, this was floor coverings, not major surgery.
Mary explained that, at her age, little things like floor coverings make all the difference in your life.
Version 2: Janet was visiting with her client Mary.
"Janet, I can't tell you how much my new floor means to me.
You have changed my life.
" Janet said, "Mary, that's very kind of you.
But, really? It's only floor covering" After a brief pause, Mary answered, "Oh honey, you don't understand.
I'm 87 years old.
I live alone and I don't get out much anymore.
I've lived in this house for 46 years.
When you have to look at the same worn out floors and rugs all the time, it's depressing.
Now, when I walk into my family room, I feel good.
It's beautiful, and clean, and it just makes me happy.
When you get to be my age, you'll understand".
Of the two delivery styles, which one makes you feel more like you were in the scene? If you said number One, go back and read the two scenes again.
Obviously, option Two is the correct answer.
But why? When you re-tell a story, as in version One, you're giving an outsiders view.
The information IS factual, and it may create a picture in the listeners mind, but it doesn't emotionally pull them in.
It's more of a left-brain approach.
When you use dialogue, as in version Two, the story comes to life.
You're engaging more of the audience's imagination, more of their right brain.
Say the lines of dialogue from the characters' point of view, and your audience feels as if they are in the scene.
This feeling is enhanced when characters describe details.
For example, in just a few short sentences from Mary, you learn these facts about her: - She's 87 years old - She lives alone - She's lived in the same house for 46 years - She doesn't get out much - Clean and beautiful floors are some of those 'little things' that are very important to someone her age.
You learned all of that in 106 words of dialogue! This is much more effective and it creates a deeper connection than reporting the facts, as in, "Mary is an elderly woman.
She lives alone.
She loves her new floor coverings".
Don't make the mistake that many speakers make.
Avoid being a reporter; give your story in dialogue.
You can easily stand out from most storytellers if you will employ this one tool.
It will add life to your stories, and increases the likelihood that you'll touch the hearts of your audience.