How Does A Performer Create A Group Storytelling Experience
How Does A Performer Create A Group Storytelling Experience - Do you remember when you first learned about climate change? For me it was 2006. My friends started driving Toyota Priuses. My parents started buying LED bulbs. I started composting my uneaten food.
I could not determine why there was a sharp shift towards environmental consciousness at the time. However, I recently realized that it coincided with Al Gores climate change documentary,
How Does A Performer Create A Group Storytelling Experience
Look no further than Gores speech to see the potential power of presentations. It had an immediate and tangible impact. Studies show that since the film was released, the number of people who attribute global warming to human activity has increased from 41% to 50%. In the year following the films release, the number of voluntary carbon offsets increased by 50% in areas where the film was shown.
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Caught the publics attention because Gore did one thing masterfully: He wove all these hard, scientific details about how humans affect the Earth into emotional, terrifying stories. Gore used storytelling to bring people to a topic that had not previously caught their attention.
No matter what industry you work in, theres a good chance that when you give a presentation, you have the same goal as Al Gore: you want your audience to understand and support the ideas youve just presented. presented.
Storytelling in presentations is a powerful way to get attention, hold attention, and change beliefs because it works the same way it does in our favorite books and movies:
First, tech giant Cisco Systems delivered fact-packed presentations promoting its products. However, when they stopped listing specifics and started telling stories, they became much more effective and successful. For example, by telling the story of a struggling local small business owner who grew his company and ran it more efficiently with Cisco, the company was able to humanize the technology and make its benefits more relatable.
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Then Pastor John Ortberg of Menlo Park Presbyterian Church masterfully managed to get the congregation to believe the message that people can bring the Kingdom of Heaven to this Earth by showing love, going beyond simply reciting the relevant scriptures and telling the story of his little sister who loved the rag doll so much that she could convince everyone in her life that the doll was beautiful and valuable.
Although the two presenters were very different from each other, they had one thing in common: like Gore in his film, both used stories to make their presentation resonate with their audience.
You may be wondering how to create an inspiring story when your most important content consists of data, insights, and numbers. If you want to develop your storytelling presentation skills, you should keep the following rules in mind:
The most beloved stories in history are about a hero and his journey. See: Odysseus st
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, and Harry Potter in his series, and so on. The heros journey is a favorite method of storytelling. It has a recognizable and easily digestible structure. As marketing and storytelling expert Robert Rose explains, the heros journey is a monomyth-a pattern that many believe can be found in almost every story around the world, and that a narrative in time has a basic structure and can be shared in this trip. clarifies in
In every story there is a moment when the hero overcomes his reluctance to change, leaves the ordinary world and crosses the threshold of adventure into a special world. In the special world, the hero gains skills and insights, and then brings them back to the ordinary world as the story unfolds.
While you might think that the heros journey is just the stuff of books and movies, its actually an effective device used in a variety of media, including advertising and presentations. For example:
In 2015, Budweiser ran one of the most effective Super Bowl commercials in history. It features a cute yellow lab puppy who runs away from his owners pickup truck, gets lost, and then has to find his way home with the help of his Clydesdale horse buds.
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In her Ted Talk, professional snowboarder Amy Purdy talks about losing both legs to bacterial meningitis. Then she learned to snowboard again. As a result, she won a medal at the Paralympics. This is the quintessential example of the heros journey.
As you build your presentation story, position your audience as the hero. They are the ones who must cross the threshold and enter the adventure. You are the one to dare and encourage them to slay the dragons that plague them and their business. Finally, your ideas and the content of your presentation can guide them in their search for a better solution.
Al Gore made that pretty clear in his presentation. WE were the people who needed to step up and curb human-caused climate change. We had the power to change the course of what was happening.
As if global warming is out of control. He talks about the possibility of more devastating hurricanes in the future. He mentions the potentially deadly spread of infectious diseases and describes future disruptions between predator and prey. (There is a possibility that the pine beetles could kill all our pines - and no one wants to see a Christmas tree gone!) One of the things that touched me the most about this.
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I imagined what kind of world I would live in if I hadnt adopted greener practices like Al Gore suggested.
Dr. King begins his speech by explaining that America is racially divided and unjust. He then explains what the future (his dream) could look like if everyone was willing to stand up for civil rights with him.
When Viola Davis thanked the Television Academy for the Emmys in 2015, she delivered a powerful, short speech masterfully. She drew heavily on the contrast to describe the lack of opportunities for women of color in America compared to what might actually happen if writers, directors, and performers focused on creating roles and performing for them.
The reason that contrast is such an effective storytelling technique in presentations is that it creates a dramatic dichotomy. This dichotomy holds attention and spurs action. By pointing out the gap between what is and what could be, you create a sense of uncertainty. Listeners are waiting to see how they will manage to overcome this gap. For example, in his film Al Gore argued that a large part of New York (among many other places) could be underwater in the future if we dont change our habits. I live in New York! His suggestion encouraged me to keep listening to find out how I could change what I was doing so my house wouldnt end up under water one day.
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causes in the audience a desire for a reality different from the present one. She recommends that you present an intriguing insight that your audience will want to engage with. It should excite them enough (positively or negatively) that theyll want to listen carefully as you explain whats at stake and whats needed to close the gap.
Ultimately, if you do a good enough job of showing how your ideas bridge the gap between the present and the future, the audience will walk away believing that they must accept your ideas in order to move forward. Gore did it so well that I ditched his film and bought LED bulbs.
So, even if you are not the hero of the story you are telling in your presentation, you are the teacher of that hero. Therefore, it is important for you to include personal stories or anecdotes about your own experiences to create a common language with the people listening to you. Community creates empathy, which makes people more likely to listen to your pitch and take action.
Storytelling expert and creative writing professor Robert McKee insists that empathy is the most important part of all stories. He explains, The irreducible step is to connect on an empathic level… it cant just be magical. It cant just be sympathy. Its not about sympathy. The audience has to connect on some subconscious level with what the story is about
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Use your stories to connect with your audience. You want them to empathize with you because they will trust you and be more likely to want to accept your ideas.
The presentation didnt just contain dire information about where the world is headed. It also contained a LOT of personal stories that could help people like me (nobody) empathize with Al Gore (former US Vice President). Some important personal stories Gore told include anecdotes about his elementary school teachers and sad stories about friends he lost to cancer.
To understand what personal information you have in your arsenal that might be relevant to your presentation audience, its important to first get to know it. You can get to know your audience in several ways:
Once youve collected useful information from your audience, take a look at that information. See where it matches your experience. Do you have a story about a similar fear, value or goal?
Blog — Priscilla Howe, Storyteller
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