Source | FastCompany : BY DARREN MENABNEY
Don’t like public speaking or giving presentations? You’re not alone–most people don’t. We’re fighting our primeval fear of ostracism whenever we stand up and begin to regale an audience. But chances are good that you like telling stories and sharing experiences a little more than you like delivering a keynote or running through a slide deck; after all, some 65% of our daily conversations are made up of personal stories (and, well, gossip).
So if you could use a bit more confidence for your upcoming speech or presentation, storytelling can give it to you. Not only do stories make for more effective, memorable experiences for the audience, they can also make delivering them easier on you. Here are five reasons why.
1. YOU’RE ALREADY GOOD AT IT
Quick check: Are you a human? Yes? Great! Your ancestors have been sitting around campfires for tens of thousands of years telling stories. Our brains are wired for story; it’s part of who humans are as a species. Marketers know this, Hollywood knows it, and neuroscience bears it out.
We are all natural storytellers, and when we deliver stories, we smile, show emotion, and radiate authenticity. Not only is authenticity engaging and persuasive, but you’ll feel infinitely more comfortable and confident when you’re up there just being yourself.
2. IT WILL STOP YOU FROM RAMBLING
Stories provide structure. Nobody likes a presentation or speech that lacks focus or a point, but every story, by definition, has a natural, built-in structure that can anchor the rest of your presentation. Stories follow a natural, linear progression of A leading to B and then, uh-oh, a crisis at C! Followed by recovery and success at D. As the late novelist Kurt Vonnegut pointed out decades ago (facetiously yet correctly), stories are effective because they follow recognizable arcs:
Beyond being compelling, these fundamental narrative structures make it easy for audiences to follow along and comprehend your message as they listen to you. We’ve all sat through enough bad presentations to know that good ones are the exception, so anything you can do to make your audience’s brains work less hard will make them love you.