Facts Tell, but Stories Sell.
Stories resonate with audiences, illustrate points, and make information more memorable.
Every one of us—regardless of age—loves a good story. Maybe it started with ancient man passing down oral history around the fire? Now, when someone starts to tell a tale, we mentally pull up the blankets and settle down to be entertained and informed. The opposite effect happens when people reel off dates, facts, and figures. In those instances, we mentally shut down and start planning our next vacation.
Special event speeches (weddings, retirement parties, anniversaries, etc.) will naturally revolve around the story. Gather these first of all and then weave them into the main message. If you are presenting the speech at Bob’s retirement party, focus on all the good memories. No one needs to know the exact date of each promotion, or where he attended conferences. They want to know about the time he bought lobster rolls for the whole office. Once you have the stories, you can then add in a logical timeline to structure the speech.
For business presentations, try to lower the focus on hard data by illustrating with a story. Select one client or customer and use their story to illuminate the figures and help your audience understand the information. If you talk about real events, real challenges, and real situations, your audience will remain focused and will better recall your message.