Storytelling and Presenting

Storytelling is getting big in the English speaking coaching world.  My colleague and sometime client Roger Jones is skilled in coaching business leaders the Art of Storytelling.  Roger, like many others was inspired by the late Steve Jobs, who guided the Apple team into being world leaders in computers and mobiles phones.  Steve Jobs’ renowned Presentations at product launches won everybody over.   His Presentations were the telling of a story – the story of how the product came to be.  His person to person approach shattered the illusion that computers were for people who dealt in software and statistics alone.  Script was for Creatives.   This in turn led to millions of people becoming technophiles and loving the i-phone.    Steve Jobs knew that graphs and statistics are great for memorising but low on motivating.  He did not underestimate the impact of an image – an image can have a huge impact, but it is particular to an individual.  Stories and words unite people.

The spoken word – language – is the most important communicator.  The joy of using words that express how we perceive and work allow a presenter to transcend any barriers of nerves and self-doubt.  The wordsmith Stephen Fry describes the way he feels about language in the foreword to the excellent Planet Word by J.P. Davidson as:
“The soft rain of dust that falls into a shaft of morning sun when you pull from an old bookshelf a forgotten volume of erotic diaries.”
Words are sensuous.
When a speaker is connected absolutely to what they’re saying they are going to be listened to.  Sara Cox on Radio 1 is a great storyteller and a fantastic example of this.
Storytelling remains the best way to teach children to speak and write.  Of course synthetic phonics are great for children in explaining the connection of sound to spelling – especially children who are learning English as a second language, but the infusion of joy and love in verbal expression has to lie with storytelling.
All of us grew up listening to stories.  To a degree, we’ve been taught to divorce storytelling from our business lives.   As a Voice and Presentation coach it’s wonderful to see and hear the vitality that storytelling brings to a Presentation.  As a person in business, I respond to a good Presentation.
Next Voice and Presentation Course – April 28th

Steve Jobs





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