Public speaking is rough. Even people who give public presentations all the time can still get struck with a bit a stage fright. While the age-old tip of picturing everyone in the room can certainly help (or hurt depending on who you are), Fast Company has another idea for combating a difficult public speaking event: incorporate a story.
While most of us aren’t seasoned public speakers, we are seasoned storytellers. The idea behind the advice is that if you incorporate a relevant personal story into your presentation, telling it will help put you at ease and can create a much more memorable experience for your audience.
On a basic level, we’ve all told a lot more stories in our lives than we have public presentations. By default, it’s something everyone will just naturally be better at. When you’re comfortable and telling your story you’ll also portray confidence to the crowd listening and authenticity – and your story can give your whole presentation a bit of natural structure, structure that since you know the story you won’t mess up and deviate from mid talk.
You don’t want to just tell anything, the story needs to relate to your presentation topic, but if you find the right one then your story can help give your presentation structure and a personal tinge that make it and your subject matter a lot more relatable to your audience.
Stories, especially a personal one, are going to be a heck of a lot easier to remember than a ton of powerpoint slides, eliminating the need for you to memories a ton of index cards. You’ll be more relaxed, and the more natural presentation will make you, in general, more persuasive.