A woman in one of our classes told this story: "when I was in college I was awfully tired one morning because I had been up very late studying. I was thinking about skipping my morning class to catch up on my sleep, but being the conscientious student I was, I decided to go anyway.
"I got to my class early and sat up front figuring that would help keep me awake, but, unfortunately, I dozed off. When I awoke, I received a standing ovation from the class. If that wasn't bad enough, I realized I had slept through my class and the ovation was form the following class!"
She made this point: "If you replenish your resources early on, you won't run short when you need them most."
There are so many ways to make your message come alive and to help make it stick with a your listeners. One of the most compelling things you can do is tell a personal story that helps make your point.
Stories grab attention.
Editors' note: Bob Elliott, creator of the Boca Grande Camera club and board member of the Boca Grande Art Alliance, spent a career improving communications at large corporations such as Pfizer, Cigna and Westinghouse, where he witnessed many of the faux paus detailed in the book "Make Your Point," which he co-wrote with Kevin Carroll. As a communications consultant he developed relationships with top American companies such as General Electric, MasterCard and Wal-Mart and also worked with personalities such as model-actress Cindy Crawford and tennis star Jimmy Connors. The preceding was an excerpt from "Make Your Point,"which is available at amazon.com.
Stories comfort the soul.
Some Fortune 500 companies even offer workshops to employees on how to use personal stories to be ore persuasive. Witness the success of the "Chicken Soup for the " series of books. Stories, stories and more stories.
Why are stories so important?
Humans have been telling them for eons and they're part of our nature.
Others relate better to us through our stories. The best communicators use personal stories and experiences to make their content come alive.
Using a personal story to help make your point is a simple one-two process.
First, share an experience that you know will get a reaction from people. It could be about the time you accidentally backed your father's car into a lake.
Second, make one crystal-clear point from that experience and bridge that point to the listeners.
Based on the lake story, the point could be: "If we take the time to plan ahead, we wont' have disastrous results."
Tell a story, make one point and bridge it to your listener. They'll remember the story, remember the point and they'll remember you.