As children, we all had an innate love for stories as stories created magic. They taught us about life and about ourselves. But somewhere in the process of growing up, we all have forgotten about the need to keep the skill intact.
With the intense competition in today’s job market, everyone’s searching for new and better ways to grab the attention of hiring managers. Since hiring managers are always looking for someone to bring value to the company, your ability to articulate this message is what will set you apart from someone else who has a similar resume or experience as yours. Whether you are making a presentation as part of an interview or as part of your job, here are ways that can help you improve your storytelling skills.
Practice well in advance
Practice may not always make us perfect, but it can definitely make you better. Not only should you practice to narrate, you should also do lot of reading beforehand. Read, talk to people, so that you would have interesting insights to share. You can even watch standup and inspirational videos online which will help you gain confidence and tips for delivering your story.
More importantly, you should practice your style, something that is unique. Practicing your skills means that you continuously work to improve both your strengths and weaknesses. Practice in front of your friends or even in front of your family members and get their reviews.
Set a good base before you start
“You won’t believe what just happened — first I went to movie hall.. then…” this is how you make people curious. You have set up the most basic form of a story: do you know what it is? When you recount events that you have done, even simple sentences like these can help you set base to your story.
Give specific details
Instead of saying “I went to Art College in Colarado” you can say, “I went to college in Colarado – you know I opted for Art School instead of a job at GM.” Such specific details will increase the curiosity levels of the listeners and keep the conversation going. May be your details can end up being something that they relate to as well.
Invite audience participation
Storytelling is all about imagination, so invite your audience to imagine. Basically we should ensure the audience also participates. For instance, find a pivotal point of the story, and then ask your listeners what they would do. For instance, “I was driving late night and had a flat tyre. There was no one around. If you were me, what would you do?” Use volunteers from the audience in your story. Or have the audience participate in hand motions or making sound effects.
Use sense of humour to hold interest
Whether you are presenting to few interviewers or a wide audience, humour always works. However, ensure it is spontaneous. Well prepared joke doesn’t work as well as something spontaneous. Also, you shouldn’t go over the board and take away the seriousness of the topic you are discussing.
Don’t ramble on while concluding
Once you finish the story, just stop. Don’t ramble on. You don’t have to tie together all loose ends. Relegate some thinking to the listeners. Keep the curiosity intact. Your story conclusion should be so effective that the listeners should think about it and draw their own meaning from it!
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