A story would be great for your talk, but what if you can’t think of one?

Well, consider the process of preparing for a recent project – perhaps even the talk itself:

‘Unfortunately, I had to tackle this daunting project’
‘Fortunately, I knew the subject inside out’
‘Unfortunately, it became way tougher than I’d imagined’
‘Fortunately, I met someone with direct experience of the subject’
‘Unfortunately, the deadline moved forward’
‘Fortunately I created a much simpler format’

And so on.

This story structure will engage your audience (because they can’t predict what’s coming next) and make the whole thing very relatable.

And perhaps – just perhaps – even funny.

So, the key steps:

+ Open up; share the crappy behind-the-scenes stuff.
+ Tell them how you felt at each stage. The facts are important, but the emotional context will really help.
+ Keep it light; dare to have some actual FUN. Your story can be minor, petty day-to-day stuff (and will probably be better if it is). Think laid-back stand-up comic venting about their children, coffee and their internet connection, not an earnest TED talk about a world-changing medical breakthrough.

And there you have it. You’ve used a story to create an interesting talk that almost writes itself.


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