One of the most common questions/statements we receive about storytelling is, “I just don’t know where to begin.”
Choosing the right story, turning it into an engaging experience, and practicing to be a great storyteller of course takes time. What really doesn’t take much time preparing, is telling a “Today Story,” especially if it happened within one day of your talk.
A TODAY STORY
A Today Story is an experience that has happened within the past two weeks through the present day. If it happened last night or today, then in all likelihood, it will have an even greater impact as it is truly a Today Story.
Like every good business story, it still must be relevant and resonate. The difference is that a Today Story has a low impact compared to a Purpose Story with a medium to high impact. Purpose Stories are used deliberately to illustrate and emphasize points in your presentation.
As with all business stories, the order of preference is:
- Experiences that happened to you personally
- Experiences that happened to a friend, relative, or colleague (one-degree away)
- Experiences that you heard about (two or more degrees away)
POTENTIAL TODAY STORY EXPERIENCES
As you think about starting your presentation, consider adding a Today Story from one of these types of experiences:
- Airplane ride
- Conversation you had with someone previously (at the opening event night before is also a good source)
- Taxi/Uber/Lyft ride to/from the airport with the person sitting next to you and/or with the driver
- Conversation you had with your spouse, child, parent, significant other, anyone related to your child (e.g., teacher, professor)
- “I was just talking to FirstName” about (a participant in the audience)
- Experience at a restaurant
- Dialogue with a colleague, staff member, boss, partner, vendor
- Conversation standing on line at the grocery store, a retail store, coffee shop
- … and the list goes on
In three minutes or less, YOU CAN tell a great business story. One that is relevant and interesting. And one that sets the stage for a great presentation to come to your audience.
FURTHER READING ON STORYTELLING
- Ignite Your Team’s Passion with a Good Story
- Great Leaders are Great Storytellers – 5 Tips to Improve Your Leadership Effectiveness
- Add Suspense to Your Story with “Near-Impossible Goals”
Photography Source: DepositPhotos