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March 2012 Newsletter

Greetings!

Fabulous F Concepts to Use
and Connect!

Opening:

Many (if not most) presenters, especially in business, over-emphasize facts and figures to make their point and create change in their listeners. When was the last time you heard a speaker discuss so many facts and figures that they faded in your mind and also failed to connect with you? Were you almost put to sleep?

Promise:

If we want our audiences to be interested, excited, and buy into our message/point, we need to connect emotionally first through our personal stories, then allow them the opportunity to justify their decisions intellectually afterwards.

Roadmap:

One way to do this is to de-emphasize facts and figures, which fade and often even fail, and consciously incorporate Fabulous F words/concepts.

In This Issue

Quotation of the Month

"Nobody but you
can tell your story, and
nobody can tell your story
the way you can.”

~ Mark Brown,
1995 World Champion
of Public Speaking

F F
F
F F

Fabulous F words to be considered in planning
the structure of a story within your presentation...

1. Foundational Phrase
...the audience's take-away message

It is imperative to start planning your story with the end in mind by being clear in your mind what it is you wish the audience to think, feel, say, or do differently after you finish speaking; in other words, does your story lead to a single goal that captures and confirms a truth from your own life experience, expresses values you personally feel deep down to your core and deepens others’ understanding of their humanity while affirming meaning in their lives?

Is your Foundational Phrase:

  • short, concise, fewer than 10 words? (Seize the moment)
  • you-focused? (Walk Your Talk)
  • rhythmic, catchy ...so it can be remembered and repeated (Adopt an Attitude of Gratitude)
  • positive, forward, hopeful up-lifting? (If you can see it, you can be it!)
  • a challenge or call to action? View obstacles, not as Stumbling Blocks, but as Stepping Stones!)
  • can you make the first word an action word? (Welcome change and embrace it!)

Please note: To utilize all pointers stated may be new concepts to you and incorporating all or most, may be difficult, and understandably so; however, it is extremely important to use stories that are built on your foundational phrases... work on this slowly and diligently until the concept of foundational phrases becomes second nature to you and you never ever contemplate sharing a story until you are clear in your mind what their take away messages are.

2. Five "F's"
...your firsts, failures, frustrations, flaws, frailties

  • sharing your 5F’s makes you similar to your audiences; all human beings experience these F’s though we all have different life stories
  • sharing these F’s are also wonderful opportunities for humour if you allow yourself to laugh at yourself in discussing these occasions
  • sharing these 5 F’s are also great opportunities for emotional connection with your audiences as they would understand your times of feeling bewildered, frightened, confused, overwhelmed, lacking in self-confidence, and so on. These emotions can readily and naturally be relived, rather than retold, through character to character dialogue, your inner dialogue (your thoughts), and your body language.

Please note: Avoid making yourself special, a one-of-a-kind guru, having all the answers and never expressing any of the 5 F’s, resulting in turning off your audience and disconnecting with them

3. Foreshadowing and Flashbacks
...deviations from the usual chronological order of telling a story

  • try adding these elements to create interest, curiosity (a key ingredient of storytelling) suspense and intrigue
  • foreshadowing is a technique that presents details and characters in such a way that gives a clue or suggestion of the result or outcome of the story (i.e. "Given the bad weather forecast, the condition of the captain, and the state of the boat, we all felt somewhat ill at ease going ahead with our pre-arranged plans...")
  • flashback is a technique that flashes back to past events and character development while moving the story forward. i.e. “To this very day, I still reflect on the disastrous outcome of that normal start of our vacation, when we, as a family embarked on our hike through the woods..."

When planning your stories for your presentations, first ensure that you always have a foundational phrase/take away message which is the reason for telling the story; try to incorporate one of the 5F’s to demonstrate your natural, normal human vulnerability; and finally, experiment by deviating from the usual chronological order of telling a story and using a foreshadowing or a flashback technique... try it, they’ll like it!

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Feel free to browse through my past newsletters, by clicking here:
http://kathrynmackenzie.com/newsletters.html

I invite you to join me next month, when we examine the letter "G" as it relates to another storytelling skill.

Until then, Happy Speaking!!

Kathryn

kathryn@kathrynmackenzie.com
416.489.6603

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