An impactful story is the most effective way for a presenter to draw an audience in and increase information retention. Not only does a compelling story elicit emotion from an audience, but it keeps them excited about what you are sharing. In fact, some studies show that a compelling story can increase memory retention by as much as 65%.

As a presenter looking to hone your craft, learning how to tell a compelling story is key to your success. That’s why we have put together some keys to a compelling story that will set you apart as a storyteller. Today we will unpack 4 keys to make a story personal.

Focus on a single subject.
By focusing your story on a single subject, you move your audience from fantasy to reality. Studies have shown that an audience experiences a far greater emotional response to a story based on a single subject over one based on a generic figure. Give your subject a name and bring them to life through your description. This works best in the context of real-life stories rather than fictional ones.

Add visual aids.
Sometimes telling a story is just not enough to bring it to life. By adding a visual aid you draw your audience into the moment with you. Whether it be a photograph, video, or object, adding a visual will show give your audience a glimpse into what you saw and experienced during your story.

Tell a story about your life.
The quickest way to draw your audience in and make a story personal is to tell a story about you. While this may feel uncomfortable at times, it’s the easiest way to ensure an emotional and relatable reaction. Personal stories create a sense of authenticity and vulnerability that cannot be accomplished any other way. If you’d like to add an extra layer of authenticity, use this as a chance to tell a story about a time when you failed or had to learn from your experience. Show your audience that you are just like them – human, vulnerable, and genuine.

Tell a “have you been there” story.
When we say “have you been there,” we are referring to stories that connect with your audience’s prior experience. By engaging their memory and personal history, you draw on their emotional experiences making them more connected to your story. Memory is a powerful tool to make your story not just personal but impactful for any audience.

Telling a personal story is a sure-fire way to engage your audience and keep them connected to your content. By implementing these 4 keys, you will not just increase memory retention, but you will increase audience engagement and drive your profitability. Stories may be harder to nail, but they are worth the extra effort to connect with your audience on a deeper level.

Do you have a presentation coming up? Our team would love to help you knock your next presentation out of the park. Contact us today to find out how.

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