204: The Biggest Hangup Most Storytellers Face

On this week's episode of This Moved Me, neuroscientist Carmen Simon shares her tips for speakers to help them create talks that audiences remember.

This episode is brought to you by my NEW MASTERCLASS - "How to captivate your audience without feeling like a failure on stage"... You know that feeling, right? - that feeling like you just didn’t CONNECT, things didn’t CLICK, that moment didn’t land... I have been having so many conversations with these amazingly brilliant people who are out there and just feeling like something’s not working...And getting things to work for you is my specialty. :)

So, I want to invite you ALL to join me for this FREE MASTERCLASS starting on September 4th for a really limited time... jam-packed resource for those of us who want to move our audiences... and there’s ONE THING you need to master to really do it well... So, join me here. I’d love to see you there!

Ok, let’s dive in to this week’s episode!


Hello, Movers!!

Great to be back with you!

We are in the middle of our story-focus month as we prep for the launch of Speaking Story on September 4th... it’s coming up, are you ready?! WHOOOEEE!!

As we prep we’re talking about some of the essential ideas, skills, needs for us as speakers in order for us to really be able to speak our story well, with skill - and so we can move our audience in the process.


On today’s episode we’re going to be talking about the biggest hangup I see again and again with speakers as they begin to develop their story...

And I want to get it out there so that - even if you don’t end up taking the course with me next month, you avoid this hangup...

And that is: telling a GENERIC story, that’s not really a story.


Last week I was listening to a "story" that wasn’t a story -

It was more of a rant... a general talking about rather than setting INTO a particular moment. And that’s the key.

A story can sometimes be a wide umbrella and category... and I think we are often calling something a story that isn’t a story.

It might be a rant... or a summary... or a…

Like - a few weeks ago, I used this example:

It’s the difference between saying "I used to play Lacrosse with the neighbors, and we always got ice cream after every practice..." and saying:

“One especially hot day, after my friends and I were done playing Lacrosse and were walking home... we heard the music of the ice cream truck from a few blocks away..."

Just that one shift - from a more generic talking about something to the specificity of ONE MOMENT opens the door to all kinds of things that I’m going to be talking about in this list.

Placing it in ONE moment in time can help you avoid this hangup - and it invites in all kinds of wonderful specificity that seems to only come alive when we avoid the generic summary (that is not really a story).

It’s why story is often defined as having a beginning, middle and end...

It has to START somewhere if it has a beginning. (And by the way, I think it can start at the end - but I think the point is that it’s clear where the START is).

I often see speakers tell a generic summary BEFORE they actually tell their more specific story.

And I get the utility in that sometimes...


Like:

I used to play Lacrosse with the neighbors every day... and on one particularly hot day, we were ... "

  • that’s cool because it’s setting up some important context that might be needed or helpful or useful, before you dive into the specific moment.


But as I talked about last week, there are times, when it’s more artistic, powerful, interesting, intriguing... to just START at the beginning of the story.


There’s a possibility that we get too specific.. but that’s an editing issue, and a topic for another day.


So - it’s simple - but pervasive... don’t tell a generic summary. Tell us a story, set in a specific moment in time.


Short and sweet one today!


AND.... starting next week, my movers, I’ll be doing a FREE MASTERCLASS all about How to captivate your audience with a story - without feeling like a forgettable failure on stage!"... because here’s what I hear again and again... "I know stories are important, but I’m not confident in my storytelling!"... There’s an art and craft to it... and I am winging it! I don’t know how to take the audience on a journey, and make it really compelling... I am not an actor, so I don’t do storytelling! I just know stuff, I don’t do stories - but I WANT to! I feel like my stories fall flat... etc etc etc. ...


I get it. Storytelling is an art and a science. When we understand the science we can really lean into the art! AND in this free masterclass I'll be talking about some of he secrets great speakers use to truly captivate their audiences and feel ENGAGING, authentic, impactful…


Whether or not you can join me for Speaking Story in a few weeks, I’d love to see you at the webinar so I can help you take your speaking to the next level!

"A story can sometimes be a wide umbrella and category... and I think we are often calling something a story that isn’t a story..."
 
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  • The launch of Speaking Story on September 4th.

  • Telling a GENERIC story, that’s not really a story is.

  • Placing it in ONE moment in time can help you avoid this hangup.

  • Join me at my FREE MASTERCLASS.

 
"It’s why a story is often defined as having a beginning, middle and end...
It has to START somewhere if it has a beginning. (And by the way, I think it can start at the end - but I think the point is that it’s clear where the StART is..." 
Carmen Simon and This Moved Me podcast host Sally Zimney discuss how to improve audience memory. Tips for speakers.
 

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Sally ZimneyComment