Monday 30th September, 2013

The Power of Story-telling

I have a poorly-disguised talent crush on author and speaker Malcolm Gladwell.

In this TED Talk – The Unheard Story of David and Goliath – Gladwell treats us to a masterclass in storytelling (or in this case, story RE-telling).

Enjoy his talk for what it is.

Then take a little time to reflect on how Gladwell chose to make his points.

This talk lasts for just over 15 minutes. That’s quite a long time for a single story with a single point.

He could, quite easily, have given us the facts in just a minute or two.

But by choosing to encourage us to envisage the landscape and the characters that he describes, Gladwell helps us to engage with the message in a far deeper way than he could with facts alone.

He encourages us to create pictures in our minds, to process what he is telling us and to apply it to what we already know.

These are the building blocks of effective story-telling.

Next time you are asked to speak, try this approach for yourself.

Create a mental landscape with words.

Ask your audience to imagine it.

Stick to one simple message.

And see the difference in both the effectiveness of your presentation and the delight taken by those gathered to listen.

Categories: Story-telling, Words

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