Why your performance should always start with a story

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Why your performance should always start with a story

Why your performance should always start with a story
All of us sooner or later in life have to speak in front of an audience. The sooner you start doing this, the better. Practice always helps you learn something faster. If you are a business, it is likely that the end result of speaking in public will be the successful attraction of business partners or the sale of your product to people.

Fear of public speaking comes from lack of comfort, stress, and feeling threatened by people. But let's not forget that feelings of fear can be controlled. You can train yourself to give effective and powerful speeches that make you feel more confident and powerful in your words.

One of the most common questions is: How do I start a speech?

This is a really important question that will establish the rhythm of your speech from its first seconds. From the very beginning of your story, you must form a relationship with your listener. Understand that a customer can't connect with your product, or your services, if they haven't connected with you on a personal level. We are willing to listen to those we trust and those who know how to build a mutually beneficial relationship with us.

There are many famous tricks for starting your speech. One of the most popular is to start your story with a quote from some famous person (e.g., Mahatma Gandhi). This is not a bad influence to give seriousness to your speech, but it is still a rather hackneyed method and is unlikely to work in a business presentation.

Another good option is to start your story with a joke or anecdote. Everyone knows that if your interlocutor is laughing, it means it's going well. Two people who share a sense of humor will very quickly find a common language and be able to understand each other's desires. The only problem is that this approach is wildly risky. The success of a well-told joke will be exactly the same... as the disaster of a bad joke. A bad joke is likely to put you in the most awkward position, and you will not be able to rectify your situation. Think about how good you are at humor and whether it's worth it. There is nothing more awful than silence after a bad joke. Try to make sure you never have that situation again.

One of the safest options is to just start talking. Just get on stage and say, "Hello, thank you for inviting me, let's talk about expediency and functionality..." This option is the easiest but also has the least impact with the audience.

Let's get acquainted with another option, which may not be the only effective, but works almost always. With this option you can overcome your own fear because you will focus on...

Once upon a time, in a faraway land...

Our brains were able to tell stories long before we learned how to write or communicate our emotions through visual art. Stories were told around campfires in the caves of primitive people. 

Stories are simple and they work. Here are a few reasons why:

1. stories and emotions

In fact, most of our decisions are made not rationally but at the emotional stage of the event. Stories play on our most basic feelings and make us remember associations, familiar characters, surprises and our own decisions.

Stories can not only tell us something, but also motivate us, inspire us.

2. identifying with the listener

Two people hearing the same story may perceive it quite differently. Each of us will look at a story from our own life experiences and look at what is interesting to us personally. Knowing how to tell a story is like knowing a special language that everyone hears differently.

If we hear a story that has impacted us, we will say, "Yes, that's exactly what I needed at this point in time." Our brains are ready to fill in some of the missing elements in the story to make the picture complete and give us the feeling that the story was specifically created for us. We see it in great movies or books that move us, make us change and look at life differently.

3. stories release hormones

When two people tell each other their stories, the brain releases oxytocin and dopamine (pleasure and love hormones). These hormones help us connect with people, help us understand each other's motivations, and make us feel better about ourselves when we're in company. 

In turn, these factors help us remember favorite stories better. If the story is related to pleasure and enjoyment.

4. stories attract attention

Stories attract attention not only because they tell us something interesting or funny (although, of course, that's important, too), but because our brains are designed to "follow through." We hear the beginning of a story, and we expect to know how it ends. That's why in many shows there is some sort of "hook" at the end of each episode that will keep us coming back to watch after the next episode is released.

Stories create some tension because they constantly provide the listener with food for thought, both emotionally and rationally.

5. The stories open up the possibility of discussion

Stories are an opportunity to convince people, to sell them your product. They give you the opportunity to engage your audience, to relax their brains and emotions before giving them numbers, facts, and statistics. Stories give us a space in which we can express our assumptions, our emotions. Stories break down barriers of mistrust and shyness.

We are used to telling our stories to friends and family, so when we provide our personal life experiences to someone else, we are telling that person that we trust them and can rely on them.

Which story is worth choosing?

Actually, all stories can create certain relationships between people, but not all stories are the same.

1. The best stories are your own experiences, your own personal jokes, and situations you have witnessed with your own eyes. These stories may not seem that important to you, but don't underestimate your own experiences.

Start your story with a simple introduction, the place where the situation occurred, and slowly lead the listener to what you're excited about. If the listener sees that you are curious about something, that some story has got you thinking, it will humanize you in his eyes. Also remember that a great deal of emotion is a greater impact. A personal tragedy, or a situation that made you change, will always stir people's hearts and make them move to the time and space that affected you.

2. Not your personal stories, but situations that happened to other famous people or companies. Tell your audience the story of Steve Jobs or Ilon Musk. Add some funny joke that would be a great reflection of the situation and dilute the seriousness. Balance the balance between entertaining your audience and asking them important questions. Sometimes it makes sense to imagine that you are telling a story to a curious child. Feel free to explain things and use simple tricks to get attention. Unexpected twists and turns in the story will add a nice surprise effect

3. Think about fictional stories. It can be a poem, a fairy tale, or a movie. Don't be afraid that it will seem like something frivolous, because you can choose as an example some iconic product of art that everyone knows and that has had a significant impact on people. This is a great way to discuss something of interest without having to do it directly. In doing so, the story will help you retain the right emotional colors.

Choose what you want to tell and try it. Next time you go on stage, tell something simple, use the power of your imagination and storytelling. You may be surprised at the effectiveness of this method and how much good it can do. Your own storytelling style will help you gain the audience's attention and trust. Good luck! 

Was this article helpful? Yes -0 No -05 Posted by: 👨 Nancy J. Williams
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