When you become a story-teller, you can visually inhabit a character. Through simple adjustments to your physiology you could convey the idea of being an old woman, an astronaut or present a debate like an attorney at law. It is a form of performance that would be more intriguing, wouldn’t you agree?
We recently watched a TEDx video where Dan Pink (worldwide successful author and speaker) illuminated the stage with a compelling talk about the puzzle of motivation, starting with some research that social scientists have done to show that traditional rewards and incentives within business aren’t always as effective as we think.
Not only did Dan show passion and drive for his message, he was able to captivate the audience and deliver a persuasive speech with his performance and stories.
Dan Pink spoke for 18 minutes, introduced himself as a ‘failed’ law student and went on with his talk, channelling the power and intensity of an attorney at law pleading his case to the jury, as if we were watching an episode of Law & Order.
Here is a flavour of what he said:
“There is a mismatch between what science knows and what business does. And what worries me, as we stand here in the rubble of economic collapse, is that too many organisations are making their decisions, their policies about talent and people, based on assumptions that are outdated, unexamined, and rooted more in folklore than science….”
He continued to share his idea and new approach to how businesses can motivate; by introducing autonomy, mastery and purpose. This is where he really needed buy-in from the audience. He did this by supporting his performance via sharing eight different, ‘real-life’, factual stories and examples that supported his point and message delivery. Dan performed. Dan delivered.
When you think of yourself as the presenter, you are also a performer and a story-teller.
4 ways to deliver a persuasive talk
Strong Hand Gestures – How we use our hands to support the delivery of our message can make an enormous difference. Many people have the tendency to constrict and contract into the default handclasp or prayer position. Beware of this position as it will limit the way you deliver your point. Use your hands to illustrate your points and make it easy for your audience to follow you.
Passionate physiology – When you are delivering, use the space/stage to build a timeline that will take people from the past (your right / audiences left) to the present (centre) to the possible future (your left / audiences right). It will be counter intuitive for you but it will make sense from the audience’s perspective.
Be the story and the storyteller – When you introduce a story, make sure you become the story, act it out a little. It is a strange phenomenon but you’ll find as you do it, you, the presenter, will disappear and become the screen on which the audience will superimpose the character, the event and the circumstance.
Limit your PowerPoint slides – Limit your slides and minimise text, try and use graphics to illustrate points that you are making verbally. Allow your audience’s imagination to run with your descriptions and stories. They will enjoy the time more and retain what you’ve shared for longer.
Being able to deliver a persuasive talk, regardless of the size of the audience, is a skill that any master communicator should have. Like Dan Pink you can sell your ideas, thoughts and yourself easily and effectively through the power of performance and story-telling.
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