Storytelling. It’s not just for bedtime!


Lulu, our six-year-old daughter, loves bedtime. Unusual for a kid? Not at all. Because, for Lulu, bedtime is also story-time. Lulu loves stories.

Right now, we are reading Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr. Fox. He and his baby foxes are tunneling toward Farmer Boggis’ Chicken House Number One. When she was a toddler, she adored Arnold Lobel’s Frog and Toad are Friends. The classics endure!

As a business professional, classic storytelling should become your love too.

Whether you think of them as illustrations, anecdotes or analogies, they are all variations of story-telling which you should use to bring any presentation’s theme or point to life. Stories are memorable. They trigger your audience’s brain to remember the points connected to it.

Here are some of my story-telling tips!

1. Have a solid beginning, middle and end. Sounds obvious, but be clear. These are mini presentations inside your larger presentation.

2, Be descriptive. Colorfully and powerfully describe the scene. Was it raining? What were the emotion happening? Use action-packed words. For example, why “run” when you can “charge” or “scurry” or “lope”?

3. Include conflict and resolution. What was the problem or the challenge? What happened?

4. What’s the lesson for your audience? You likely learned something from your story, but make sure and connect the lesson out to your audience too. Never forget what’s in it for them!

Magic illusionist designer Jim Steinmeyer, in his essay Conjuring Takes a Bow,implores performers to always:

Start with a plot…it may seem daunting to you.. so ‘Theater 101’ but there’s nothing pretentious about it. Jokes have plots. Songs have plots. Listen to the lyrics of a good song, and you’ll find that it has a premise, development and a resolution.”

So, too, should your story. Remember, every good presentation is a performance. Any point or fact you make can be illustrated, strengthened and reinforced by a personal story.

Make it captivating, colorful and compelling and your audience will love you for it.

Copyright 2014 Gina London. All Rights Reserved.