Updated: Aug 31
Are you ready to embark on a journey to become a master storyteller? Whether you're presenting at work, giving a speech at an event, or just want to captivate your audience with your tales, I’m Tové Kane, I’m an Author/Speaker/Confidence Coach, my five-step Speak and S.H.I.N.E. story-based method is here to help transform you into a storytelling sensation so you can shine every time.
I became interested in the world of story-based presentations, when I noticed that audiences stopped coughing and started listening when I took them on a journey. It’s almost like they relaxed their resistance and stopped complaining about “What a waste of time this is!”
Our task is to craft engaging presentations and become dynamic performers to get through the noise in our audiences' heads. To help you ease your own doubts, fears, concerns, uncertainties, distractions or worries, I suggest you grab your favourite notebook and a cup of tea because we're about to dive into the secrets of mastering the art of storytelling.
Step 1: S - Select Your Story
Every great story starts with a captivating idea. I recommend digging deep into your own life experiences to find a story that resonates with you. It could be a personal triumph, a lesson learned, or even a funny anecdote. The key is to choose something that you're passionate about because your enthusiasm will shine through when you tell it. Now here’s the secret sauce. You’re not going to tell it. What’s that now? You’re going to RELIVE it. That’s the art of story. We scene-set. We use dialogue. We create an experience. Even if it’s an abstract idea. You can give a voice to your doubts, to your keyboard, to the corridor that groans because you’re stomping up and down procrastinating and not crafting your story-based presentation. You have to present a spreadsheet of financials? Give character to the graph. Where did it want to be? Where did it end up being? Save your audience from death-by-powerpoint by enlivening your topic through story.
Remember, stories are about connection, so consider your audience's interests and emotions. What will resonate with them? What will make them laugh, cry, or reflect? Choose a story that aligns with your audience's needs and desires, and you're off to a fantastic start!
Step 2: H - Hone Your Message
Once you've chosen your story, it's time to get crystal clear on the message you want to convey. There’s a phrase you want to plant in the story that becomes your key takeaway. So what is the core lesson from your tale? From my years in radio (over three decades) I learned the power of back-timing. It’s like retro-fitting. Backtiming is when you use your arrival time to work backward to calculate your start time. Start with the end in mind. You create a story based on what you want the audience to know, think, feel, or do.When I coach my clients, I emphasise the importance of having a clear and concise message to guide their storytelling.
Think about what you want your audience to feel or learn from your story. It could be empowerment, inspiration, or even just a good laugh. Craft your message around this emotional core, and your story will have a powerful impact. Remember the whole point of the story is that you are selling throughout. The point of speaking is selling. It’s not always selling for money. Sometimes the sale is persuasive. Plant ideas as you go along and motivate your audience to make micro “yes” decisions as the story unfolds. When you get to “the end,” it’s their beginning. You conclude with a call to action based on the message you wanted to convey at the start.
Step 3: I - Illuminate with Details
Now, it's time to bring your story to life! The magic is in the details. Paint a vivid picture with words, movement, dialogue, making your audience feel like they're right there with you. You want them not to think but rather to be in the story with you, watching it unfold. If you did something that was embarrassing, you want them to cringe for you. You want them involved. Describe the setting, the characters, the dialogue, and the emotions. I do sensory explorations with my clients, getting them to recall details to re-create a multisensory experience for their audience.
Don't be afraid to use dialogue to let your characters speak for themselves. Add suspense, humour, or drama where it fits naturally, and watch as your story unfolds like a movie in the minds of your audience. I coach this so it’s not wooden and awkward, anyone can do this and it enriches your performance.
Step 4: N - Nail the Delivery
Delivery is everything when it comes to storytelling. I want you to rehearse, rehearse, rehearse! My method emphasises rehearsing your story until it flows effortlessly. I don’t want you to practise it because then you’re thinking and memorising and that’s not how to perform. When you rehearse it, you change it slightly each time and this grows your confidence. Rehearsing allows you to connect more deeply with your audience because you're not bogged down by trying to remember what comes next. You know the journey, you know your call to action, you can play more, enjoy it more and your audience will be more invested.
Work on your tone of voice, body language, and facial expressions. Your gestures and expressions should complement your story, not distract from it. Stay with what is comfortable for you. Don’t try to move in a way that isn’t authentic. Do move though—the animation is creative energy and people enjoy that. Even if you’re stuck behind a podium, you can still animate your speech and gestures. The power of the pause is so effective when you are rooted to the delivery platform. Maybe you’re at a boardroom table and you can’t physically move. My top tip is to get away from anything that blocks you from being seen by your audience. Ask for a hand held, lapel, or headset mic. Don’t hide behind things. The goal is to make your audience feel every word, and that comes from a confident and well-rehearsed delivery.
Step 5: E - Engage Your Audience
Finally, the last piece of the puzzle is engaging your audience. I suggest using various techniques to keep your listeners hooked. Ask open-ended questions, make eye contact, and use pauses strategically to build suspense. Remember that storytelling is a two-way street - you're sharing, but you're also inviting your audience to connect with you emotionally. Don;t do
the same check-backs every time. And if you do check back with your audience, give them time to respond before you move on. There’s an art to this because when you invite a response, sometimes you get heckled. I coach my clients to have some planned spontaneity.
Don't forget to be yourself! Authenticity is key. Let your personality shine through your storytelling, and your audience will be drawn to your genuine presence.
So there you have it. My Speak and S.H.I.N.E. method is your ticket to becoming a storytelling superstar. Whether you're presenting at work, sharing your wisdom, or just entertaining friends, these five steps will help you craft, rehearse, perform, and sell any presentation with confidence and finesse.
Remember, storytelling is an art that gets better with practice, so keep honing your skills and watch as you shine brighter with each tale you tell. Happy storytelling, and may your words captivate hearts and minds wherever you go! I’d love to work with you if you enjoyed anything I said please reach out email@example.com