Posts Tagged ‘stories in speeches’

Worried about Asking for that Raise? Fast Company says, “Consult a Speechwriter”

“We’ve all been in that meeting where a coworker spends 10 minutes citing numbers and percentages to make his point but everyone stops listening long before he’s done speaking.”

That’s the opening line in a great article from Fast Company. (Okay, I am quoted in it….).

Writer Lisa Rabasca Roepe finds that the techniques speechwriters use can be helpful just about any time a business person uses the spoken word: to be effective in meetings, to ask for a raise, etc. And she offers “seven storytelling tips from speechwriters that will help you get your point across.”

The tips include:

Personify your data
Know your listener
Be specific.

Good advice from Pete Weissman and other top scribes.

For more, check out the complete article here.


FAQ: What are the key elements of a story?

FAQSince I almost always advise executives to “use fewer statistics and tell more stories,” I’m often asked what makes a good story. Fair question. To answer it, I’ve decided to steal from one of the best, Amy Saidman, Artistic Executive Director at SpeakeasyDC. She gave a great presentation at NSA-DC recently. To paraphrase her a bit, she said the key elements of a story are:

  1. Set-up
  2. Inciting Incident (What event, action throws the speaker’s life out of balance?)
  3. Desire (What’s at stake?)
  4. Rising Action (Obstacles that stand in the way, actions taken to overcome them)
  5. Climax (What choice did the speaker make?)
  6. Resolution (what broader conclusion did the speaker draw from the story?)

She also stressed one other element, which I think is critically important: use vivid language that paints a picture. The more details you can mention that help an audience visualize the story, the better.