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Archive for September 2012

Storytelling Tip: You don’t have to be a great orator to be a great speaker

 

Storytelling Tip: You don’t have to be a great orator to be a great speaker
Today’s tip from JerryBrownPR’s Tips for Telling Your Story on the Experience Pros Radio Show
Listen to the Radio Version

By Jerry Brown, APR
Public Relations Counsel
www.JerryBrownPR.com

Storytelling Tip: You don't have to be a great orator to be a great speakerAre you afraid of standing up in front of an audience and speaking? If so, you’re not alone.

Giving a great speech isn’t about being a great orator. And it’s certainly not about being perfect. It’s about having something to say your audience considers worth hearing.

Years ago, the Book of Lists ranked speaking in public as the number one fear humans have. They even ranked it above dying and being sick. I’m not sure I buy that. But it is a common fear.

Where does the fear come from? It’s about being afraid to make a mistake while everyone’s watching. We all hate making mistakes — especially when one of our mistakes gets noticed. If you’re standing in front of a group of people all looking at you, any mistakes you make are likely to get noticed. That can be embarrassing.

But guess what. It’s okay to make a mistake. In fact, gracefully accepting that you made a mistake and moving on makes your audience like you more. Because it makes you human.

Another big fear about speaking in public is not knowing what to say. If you find yourself unable to figure out what to say in your next presentation, ask yourself these questions:

  • Why am I speaking to this audience? What do I want to happen because I spoke? Okay, maybe your boss said you have to make the presentation. But you still should have an objective, a desired result. What is it?
  • What do I want the people in my audience to know or believe?
  • Why will they care? What do they want to know?

If you know the answers to these questions, you’re ready to give a good speech. Tell your audience what you want them to know or believe in a way they’ll find interesting. Do that and you’ll deliver a great speech, even if you’re not a great orator.

That’s my two cents’ worth. What’s yours?

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Jerry Brown, APR, is a public relations professional and former journalist. He specializes in helping clients develop the content they need to tell their stories. He also helps them develop strategies for getting their stories heard, understood and remembered. And he provides media training and presentation coaching for clients who need to tell their stories to reporters or in front of an audience. 303-594-8016 | jerry@JerryBrownPR.com.

Listen to Jerry’s Tips for Telling Your Story every Tuesday at 11:05 a.m., Mountain Time, on the Experience Pros radio show on KLZ 560AM in Denver or at www.560thesource.com on the Internet.

Storytelling Tip: Use Anecdotes, Analogies and Examples

 

Storytelling Tip: Use Anecdotes, Analogies and Examples
Today’s tip from JerryBrownPR’s Tips for Telling Your Story on the Experience Pros Radio Show
Listen to the Radio Version

By Jerry Brown, APR
Public Relations Counsel
www.JerryBrownPR.com

Storytelling Tip: Use Anecdotes, Analogies and ExamplesAnecdotes, analogies and examples are powerful storytelling tools. Use them whenever possible.

Anecdotes humanize your story. Humanizing your story makes it more appealing to the rest of us — and more likely to get our attention. They make it more likely we’ll hear what you say. But go easy on anecdotes that paint you as the hero. And stay away from anecdotes that criticize or poke fun at someone else.

Analogies simplify your story. Analogies make it easier for the rest of us to understand your story, particularly when used to explain and simplify a complicated point. I learned to love analogies as a journalist and a speechwriter because they’re a quick way to explain things.

Examples help explain your story. Examples are also useful for complicated stories that are hard to explain or understand. Using examples to make an abstract idea concrete makes it more likely to be remembered.

Anecdotes, analogies, examples help get your story heard, understood and remembered. Use them regularly to tell your story.

That’s my two cents’ worth. What’s yours?

————-

Jerry Brown, APR, is a public relations professional and former journalist. He specializes in helping clients develop the content they need to tell their stories. He also helps them develop strategies for getting their stories heard, understood and remembered. And he provides media training and presentation coaching for clients who need to tell their stories to reporters or in front of an audience. 303-594-8016 | jerry@JerryBrownPR.com.

Listen to Jerry’s Tips for Telling Your Story every Tuesday at 11:05 a.m., Mountain Time, on the Experience Pros radio show on KLZ 560AM in Denver or at www.560thesource.com on the Internet.

Storytelling Tip: Just Do It

 

Storytelling Tip: Just Do It
Today’s tip from JerryBrownPR’s Tips for Telling Your Story on the Experience Pros Radio Show

By Jerry Brown, APR
Public Relations Counsel
www.JerryBrownPR.com

Storytelling Tip: Just Do ItYou want to tell your story. But you’re having trouble getting started?

Just do it. Start writing, even if you’re not quite sure what you want to say.

Sometimes putting words on paper — even if you go back and change them later — can help you clarify in your own mind what you want to say.

I’m talking about this tip on the Experience Pros radio show this week.  And it’s inspired by Angel Tuccy of the Experience Pros.

If you’re a regular listener, you know Angel and her business partner, Eric Reamer, have written several bestselling books on business.

Angel’s advice to other aspiring book authors: Just do. Start writing.

That’s good advice. And it’s good advice if you’re struggling to put your message into words, too. Just start writing and see where it goes.

One additional piece of advice. Before you’re done you want to know the answers to three very important questions:

  • What’s your objective. What do you want to happen as a result of telling your story?
  • Who’s your audience? Who do you want to hear your message? Why? And why will they care?
  • What’s your message? What’s the one thing you can tell your audience to improve your chances of achieving your objective?

Ideally, you should know the answers to those questions before you start writing your story.

But sometimes you don’t. If you’re stuck, just start writing. But be sure you know the answers to those questions before you’re done. And by the time you’re done, make sure your message speaks clearly to the audience you’re trying to reach in a way that will help you achieve your objective.

That’s my two cents’ worth.  What’s yours?

————-

Jerry Brown, APR, is a public relations professional and former journalist. He specializes in helping clients develop the content they need to tell their stories. He also helps them develop strategies for getting their stories heard, understood and remembered. And he provides media training and presentation coaching for clients who need to tell their stories to reporters or in front of an audience. 303-594-8016 | jerry@JerryBrownPR.com.

Listen to Jerry’s Tips for Telling Your Story every Tuesday at 11:05 a.m., Mountain Time, on the Experience Pros radio show on KLZ 560AM in Denver or at www.560thesource.com on the Internet.

Storytelling Tip: Skip the Spin

 

Storytelling Tip: Skip the Spin
Today’s tip from JerryBrownPR’s Tips for Telling Your Story on the Experience Pros Radio Show
Listen to the Radio Version

By Jerry Brown, APR
Public Relations Counsel
www.JerryBrownPR.com

Storytelling Tip: Skip the SpinHave you ever listened to someone flawlessly deliver a perfectly honed message — and you don’t believe a word they say?

We all have. Chances are they’re practitioners of “spin.” Skip the spin if you want the rest of us to believe your story.

You’re entitled to a point of view — and to express it without presenting the other side. And it’s okay, when appropriate, to try to persuade us to buy what you’re selling.

But skip the spin. By that I mean don’t alter or misrepresent the truth to make your story sound better than it is.

As a public relations practitioner, I sometimes come across people who think my job is to make stuff up or bend the truth to convince the rest of you that stinky stuff smells like roses.

Not so. My job is to help my clients tell their story clearly and credibly to the audiences important to them. My job is to help them get their stories heard, understood and remembered.

But I prefer to skip the spin. Because it doesn’t matter what you say or how well you say it if the rest of us don’t believe you because we don’t trust you.

That’s my two cents’ worth.  What’s yours?

————-

Jerry Brown, APR, is a public relations professional and former journalist. He specializes in helping clients develop the content they need to tell their stories. He also helps them develop strategies for getting their stories heard, understood and remembered. And he provides media training and presentation coaching for clients who need to tell their stories to reporters or in front of an audience. 303-594-8016 | jerry@JerryBrownPR.com.

Listen to Jerry’s Tips for Telling Your Story every Tuesday at 11:05 a.m., Mountain Time, on the Experience Pros radio show on KLZ 560AM in Denver or at www.560thesource.com on the Internet.

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Jerry@JerryBrownPR.com | 303.594.8016