Create a Story with Impact

Do you remember that classic scene from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off in which Ben Stein gives a dry lecture to a class of high school students? With a monotone voice and information that doesn’t interest his students, it’s easy to see why his students fall asleep.

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photo courtesy Kyle Glenn, unsplash

Creating a story that has makes an impact is one of the biggest challenges entrepreneurs face when trying to connect with an audience. It’s a fear that prevents authors, coaches, consultants and others from public speaking.

Can you relate?

Maybe you lack clarity around your message or want to fine tune your presentation before you book speaking engagements.

You wonder how to take your knowledge and message and create a conversation that creates connection?

What story is one that will resonate most with my clients?

Anyone, anyone?

What happens when you have interesting content, an engaging delivery and your message still misses the mark?

You get great feedback on your presentation, but you don’t walk away with any leads or sales.

You get very little engagement from the audience.

Or worse…You hear crickets.

If you’ve experienced any of the above, it’s time to revisit your content. Here are three ways you can craft a talk that will make an impact:

Begin with the end in mind

Writing a talk can be intimidating. You want it to be powerful and to make an impression. You want to provide valuable information that serves others. How do you take all of your knowledge and experience and narrow it down to an hour long presentation?

To lessen the pressure, begin with the end in mind. Think about this question:

What do you want the audience to talk away with?

If the audience remembers only one thing from your presentation, what would you like that message to be?

What are the key points or lessons you’d like them to remember?

What information does the audience need most to solve their biggest challenge?

Once you’ve uncovered those few bullet points, you can use those as a framework to build your talk.

Get clear on your target audience

If the audience isn’t connecting with your material, perhaps you are speaking to the wrong group.

When you’re just getting started as a speaker it’s natural to present to any organization that invites you to speak. It’s important to make sure the audience, and organization, is aligned with the audience you want to serve.

For example, let’s say you are a financial planner who helps women over 50 manage and plan for retirement. If you give a presentation to a young professionals organization, your message is going to miss the mark. Can they benefit from financial advice about retirement? Yes.

However, if you wrote the talk for a 50+ person approaching retirement, that message may not be as relevant and won’t create connection. It’s important to get clear on who it is you are trying to reach and make sure you speak at events that are geared towards that target audience.

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photo courtesy of William White, Unsplash

Share a personal story

If you’re like most business owners, you started your business because of a passion or a desire to create something you needed. Think back to why you began your business and share a story about what inspired you on your path or a challenge you faced and the solution you created as a result.

Did you start your organization for overwhelmed mothers because you craved support when you were raising your children?

Did you become a life coach to help others silence the inner critic because learning how to manage your mindset changed your life?

Sharing stories like this creates authenticity and connection will make your message memorable.

Ready to create a powerful message? Attend the Rock Your Story workshop on April 19.