The Power of Storytelling in Speeches.

Not everyone has the natural talent of being able to publicly speak in front of crowds.

Never mind telling an impactful story or giving a compelling speech to that crowd. There is a special power that those who have this natural gift hold. The power to captivate and influence a crowd of ten to ten thousand people in just one story is a power to behold. 

But what are our stories if not the mirrors we hold up to our fears?”

  Wally Lamb, I Know This Much Is True

When you think of someone who is a naturally great orator, your mind may immediately think of one or two of our former presidents of the United States. Such as former presidents John F. Kennedy or Barack Obama. Perhaps Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. or Winton Churchill come to mind, history has no shortage of great public speakers. There are hundreds of other speakers who have mastered this art of speaking to audiences through telling stories to engage and inspire. Their words leave a profound impact. Often, the moments we experience listening to these speakers are moments we keep in our memories for the rest of our lives. Sometimes we are told a tale of impact, other times we are entertained or sold a story which compels us to buy a product or an experience.

With the technology at our fingertips now, it is easy to record or stream a speaker that is telling a story at just the touch of a button. TED talks are a prime example of online/live instances of speakers getting up in front of their audience with a story to tell. The stories of TED talks often range from entertaining and informational, to those completely niched down and focused on a very specific topic or interest. These niche specific stories really play to the desires and interests of listeners. This is the best thing a speaker can take advantage of when speaking to a crown. This thing is to relate on a very specific level. Speakers who give speeches have an advantage over many other story tellers who cannot captivate an audience so large all at once with their stories. It certainly takes a special, innate skill set in order to pull such a feat off.

1,000 songs in your pocket is simple and effective storytelling.

When Steve Jobs took the stage on any given day during his lifetime he engaged audiences through the power of storytelling. He told, or crafted stories that resonated with his audience because they were relatable, exciting, and authentic. He weaved a narrative thread into every product he envisioned and championed and in turn captured the imagination of his audience to make his message more memorable.

Storytelling  when used effectively can build a connection between the speaker and the audience, as it allows the speaker to share personal experiences or insights in a way that, as Steve Jobs has shown, can help to create a sense of trust and rapport between the speaker and the audience, which can make the message more persuasive and effective.

When storytellers connect on an emotional level they can more effectively illustrate points and make them more relatable and memorable.

For example, if you were giving a speech on the importance of teamwork, you could tell a story about a group of people who worked together effectively to achieve a common goal. This would help to bring the concept of teamwork to life and make it more meaningful to the audience.

Storytelling can also be an effective way to persuade an audience and influence their beliefs or behaviors. For instance, if you were giving a speech on the importance of environmental conservation, you could tell a story about the negative impact of pollution on a particular community and how taking action to reduce pollution can make a positive difference.

Overall, storytelling can be a very effective tool in public speaking because it allows the speaker to connect with the audience and make the message more relatable and memorable.

Fiction has been maligned for centuries as being “false,” “untrue,” yet good fiction provides more truth about the world, about life, and even about the reader, than can be found in non-fiction.”

  ― Clark Zlotchew