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Archive for June 2013

Storytelling Tip: End Strong

 

Storytelling Tip: End Strong
Today’s tip from JerryBrownPR’s storytelling tips on the Experience Pros Radio Show

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

Storytelling Tip: End strongWe’ve all heard that it’s important to grab your audience right out of the chute with a strong beginning. But you need a strong ending, too — especially when you’re telling your story in front of an audience.

Your closing is the last thing your audience will hear. So, give them something to remember.

If you want your audience to pay attention to what you say, you need to grab their attention at the outset. But don’t stop there. Keep them interested. And end strong. A strong close gives your audience something to think about on their way out.

Your audience is most likely to remember what you say at the opening and the close of your presentation. So start with a bang and end with a bang.

Some suggestions for ending strong:

  • End with a story that makes your main point. Stories are powerful. And putting a strong closing story in the longer story you tell with your presentation will help drive your point home.
  • Summarize your main points. Better yet, add a reason why the points you made are important to your audience. You’ve told us what you want us to know in your presentation. Close with the so what.
  • Engage our emotions. Stories that appeal to our emotions are more memorable than stories based purely on logic. So, close with an emotional appeal if it fits your story.
  • Surprise us. Our brains are hard wired to pay attention to things that surprise or startle us. It’s a great way to grab your audience’s attention up front. It’s also a good way to get our attention as you close. “That little boy I just told you about . . . the one who struggled with (fill in the blank)? That was me. And here’s what my struggle taught me . . .”
  • Deliver a call to action. You’ve told us what you want us to know. Now, what can we do about it?

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 10:05 a.m., Mountain Time, on the Experience Pros Radio Show on KLZ 560AM in Denver or at www.560thesource.com on the Internet. Missed it on the air? Listen to the archived tips.

Storytelling Tip: Use video to tell your story

 

Storytelling Tip: Use video to tell your story
Today’s tip from JerryBrownPR’s storytelling tips on the Experience Pros Radio Show

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

Storytelling Tip: Use video to tell your storyAre you using video to help tell your story on your website?

If not, you’re passing up a really useful tool for telling your story and making your website more visible to Google. Google owns YouTube and gives higher rankings to web pages containing YouTube videos.

Videos are a great way to introduce prospective clients to your business by explaining what you do and giving them a chance to see you and your business in action.

Video testimonials are another great tool for promoting your business. Written testimonials are a good way to let the rest of us know about what satisfied customers think about you. But video testimonials have more impact. Don’t believe me? Which do you think works better: Seeing and hearing someone deliver a testimonial themselves or reading what they said?

And, of course, you can put links to your YouTube videos on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to draw viewers to them.

As I see it, there are three levels of video useful for promoting your business:

  • Quick and dirty videos you create with your smartphone. A great tool for putting informal videos about events and the like onto YouTube with links from Facebook, Twitter and possibly your website. Good for informal situations where you can get by with something that’s not professionally produced. And something you can do yourself. But generally not a good choice for videos explaining who you are and what you do if you want to project a professional look in those cases.
  • YouTube (or Vimeo) videos for testimonials and descriptions of your business. These are a visual representation of your business. If want to project a professional image, these videos need to be professional looking. Probably not something you want to do yourself unless you have good equipment and editing software and know how to use them.
  • Studio-quality video. Overkill for many web applications, but something to consider if your company is large enough and visible enough to justify it. But you’ll spend a LOT more money for this level of video production.

I started doing YouTube-quality videos for clients several years ago. A few things I’ve learned along the way:

  • You need a professional-level camera. You’ll end up with much better images, which translates into better quality video.Poor-quality video looks unprofessional.
  • The microphones you use are almost as important as the camera(s) you use. The quality of the videos I produce improved significantly when I invested in professional-quality wireless microphones.
  • You can get away with using available light in some situations. But good-quality lights are a must for most video shoots. I learned this the hard way. Finally broke down and invested the money for good lights.
  • Understanding your story and focusing on telling it as you shoot and edit your video are essential. That means you need really good editing software and a professional storyteller doing the edits. I use Premier Pro, an Adobe product that works really well. If you use a Mac, Final Cut Pro is another possibility.

How much will it cost? That depends on the time needed to shoot and edit the video. If you have a specific project in mind and want an estimate of what it will cost, give me a call and we can discuss it.

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 10:05 a.m., Mountain Time, on the Experience Pros Radio Show on KLZ 560AM in Denver or at www.560thesource.com on the Internet. Missed it on the air? Listen to the archived tips.

Storytelling Tip: Find your own voice

 

Storytelling Tip: Find your own voice
Today’s tip from JerryBrownPR’s storytelling tips on the Experience Pros Radio Show

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

Storytelling Tip: Find your own voiceWe’re all different. We think differently. We speak and act differently. We have our own personalities and styles.

So, when telling your story it’s important to find and use your own voice.

How do you want the rest of us to perceive you? What do you want to be known for? Do you want to be known for having the best product or the lowest prices? Do you want to be known for products that are consistent and always the same or for products that are each their own unique creation? Are you the consummate professional? Or a creative but quirky genius who comes up with great ideas that someone else implements?

Stephen Covey defines voice as the overlapping of the four parts of our nature — body, mind, heart and spirit. And he suggests asking these questions to find your voice:

  • What are you good at?
  • What do you love doing?
  • What need can you serve?
  • What is life asking of you? What gives your life purpose?

When it comes to positioning yourself in the world of business, I’d alter those questions a bit.

  • Who do you want to be known by? Those are your customers or prospective customers.
  • What do you want to be known for? This is how you differentiate yourself from your competition.
  • What’s your public persona, your public personality? Celebrities and entertainers sometimes develop public personas that are much different than who they are in private. For the rest of us, there probably shouldn’t be much if any difference between our public and private personas. Know who you are and be that person.
  • How can you serve the rest of us? What problem do you solve or what opportunity do you create that will make us want to do business with you?

Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery. But speaking with your own voice is the best way to tell your story. Be yourself, not someone else.

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 10:05 a.m., Mountain Time, on the Experience Pros Radio Show on KLZ 560AM in Denver or at www.560thesource.com on the Internet. Missed it on the air? Listen to the archived tips.

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Jerry@JerryBrownPR.com | 303.594.8016