Join our next free Webinar, “Proven Make-Up Tips to Improve Your Online Appearance in Presentations & Meetings†Thursday, May 28, 12:30 pm EDT.

When you want to connect with your team, an online audience or prospective clients reading your blog, I recommend that you gather at least one or two relevant anecdotes or stories to share.

What I mean by a “story†is your describing something that happened to a real person, in a brief, step-by-step, engaging way, with a clear take-away at the end for your listeners. It could also be your own experience that you’re willing to share.

Why do the right stories capture interest? Most of us grew up listening to bedtime stories and episodes from the Bible or other text in our religious studies. My all-time favorite story as a little girl was Peter Pan and especially his learning to fly, something I always wanted to do.

As adults, we’ve been conditioned to subconsciously settle down when we get clues that a good story is about to be told to us. Here are some guidelines to help you tell yours more successfully:

  1. Don’t tell me you’re going to tell me a story. Just dive in.
  2. Start with a bit of a cliff-hanger, that is, a strong, enticing opening to get me interested.
  3. Point out the conflict, danger, or issue that the “hero†or “heroine†of your story is facing. Or you, if it’s your own anecdote.
  4. Bring in potential disruptors or influences that could keep the outcome from being positive.
  5. Describe what they did right – or wrong – and the consequences.
  6. Bring the story to a close-by revealing what the hero/heroine – or you – achieved, the point of the story.

Telling a brief, pertinent story is one of the best ways you can open a virtual meeting or presentation. Practicing aloud to work out the kinks and to add vocal variety is key to producing the impact you want.

Enjoy more quick, practical techniques to improve your virtual presence in our next free Webinar, for men and women, “Proven Make-Up Tips to Improve Your Online Appearance in Presentations & Meetings†Thursday, 12:30 pm EDT.