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Are you sitting comfortably...? Then I'll begin.

Are you sitting comfortably...? Then I'll begin.

Published: Mar 16th, 2022 10:30 PM

These were the opening words of a favourite radio programme from my early childhood: BBC Radio “Listen with Mother” back in the late 60s/early 70s.

It ran from 1950-1982 so that spans at least 2 generations of Brits!

Why am I sharing a childhood memory? It’s all about story!

If those words don’t resonate with you, maybe these will?

“Once upon a time...”


“A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...”

These words are powerful in the Western psyche as they represent a time when we were open to a message.

Those words literally induce a trance-like state in the brain where we ARE open to the message.

Telling stories is part of who we are as humans… put a group around a fire and within minutes the stories will start to come! In Australia we call it “yarning”.

Even a confronting message will get through resistance barriers if put across in story form.

Just this week, I was delivering some public speaking training to a staff team when the subject of “tricky situations” came up.

How do you get across to someone a point they don’t want to hear?

The example was a Not-for-Profit asking for more money from a Government Dept.

You can anticipate that the “We need more money!” message would not be greeted warmly.

So we looked at telling stories.

How could the NFP representative get the message over in a way that the Government rep could hear without dismissing it?

When a story was told re one of the clients who had fallen through the cracks, it hit home... especially when followed up with a “How can we change this situation?”

Inclusive language - “we” and asking for help - something that goes right to the emotional centre of the brain, because that’s where decisions are made!

So in your presentations, how are you using the emotional touch points of your ideal audience?

We’re not talking emotional blackmail or manipulation here!

No way!

You already know, from your research, what your audience is thinking, the words they are using to describe their painful situation, and what they want instead!

>What you are doing is speaking those emotions back to them.

That’s the best way to build that KLT factor (Knowability, Likeability, Trustability).

Tell stories that resonate with your audience and you can show them the solution to their problems!

Whether you are seeking more Government funding, a sale, motivating your audience, telling stories that resonate with your audience is your biggest ally in achieving a successful call to action!