Want to stand out and be memorable during your next presentation?
When you hear a speaker share a brief snippet from their life, you instantly feel more engaged and connected to them. “That’s just like me!” “I have kids too!” It may be a simple reference to where they grew up, a sport they played, or how many children they have. When you share a bit of your human experience with an audience, you instantly become more relatable, and in turn, the point you are trying to make is better retained. Personalized storytelling is essential to all effective communication but sometimes we don’t have time to tell a full-blown, developed story. So, how can you relay a little bit of who you are in just one sentence?
Here are some prompts that may help AND a few examples of how you could transition to a business point you want to make.
- Growing up in my hometown of _______I learned the value of ______.
- Growing up in my hometown of Louisville, KY., I learned the importance of greeting the people you passed on the street – a friendly hello or smile was valued. As leaders, we want to do the same, when you pass by colleagues in the hallway, don’t bury your head in your phone, let them know they are seen by extending a sincere greeting – it will leave a positive impression.
- The best advice I ever got from a teacher was ____________________.
- The best advice I ever got from a teacher was when a college professor challenged me by suggesting I had a choice to be visible or invisible and encouraged me to opt for visibility so my ideas could be heard. I encourage you to choose visibility as well and work on your confidence to stand up and advocate for your ideas.
- When I played ________ , I discovered the power of ______________.
- When I played volleyball in high school, I was not a starter but learned how important the role of the bench player was – to cheer on my teammates, play the role I was assigned with a supportive attitude, and take the floor to help when asked. These are the ingredients that make teams work. Know when to support, when to jump in to help, and always be there to cheer on your colleagues.
- My kids keep me honest. Just this morning my daughter/son said to me ___________.
- As a parent of teenagers, I know ______________________.
- When I was young, I was so embarrassed of ____. I finally learned to ___.
- In school, my worst subject was _____but I overcame that deficit by ____.
- My mother/father always used to say ________________.
- As a pet owner, I’ve learned to _____________.
The flow of this technique follows the following rhythm: Personal tidbit – transition – business point.
When you have an opportunity to present, it is not only an opportunity to share ideas, but it’s also an opportunity to be known, be authentic, be human, and be memorable. Providing your audience with a detail from your life – as a parent, a sibling, a son/daughter, an athlete, a pet owner, etc. – is a presenter’s version of speed-dating. You quickly give your audience a sense of who you are, and it goes a long way toward building the foundation for follow-up dialogue.