Opening night speakers at the USA Republican National Convention used these three story-telling methods:
- Third person: Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton begins his message by talking about a boy on a farm who grows up to serve his country. Eventually he transitions to, “That boy was my father and what I learned…” This story telling method can be dramatic, but watch to make sure it doesn’t become too over the top.
- First person: Melania Trump shares, “I grew up in Slovenia…”. This method works well if your audience wants to hear your personal story.
- Second person: Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani tells the audience, “You deserve to know this about your …”. Using “you” vs. “I” can be a powerful way to get your message across. It’s not about the speaker, it’s about your listeners. Side note: Try starting emails with “You” as in “You were great to spend time at our meeting” vs. “I’m pleased that you came to our meeting.” Grab your recipient’s attention by limiting self-centric language.
Editor’s note: Thank you to Gary Rifkin, CSP, www.GaryRifkin.com, who spoke on this topic at a recent National Speakers Association North Texas meeting.
More story telling tips to come. Email Karen@SpeakForYourself with your examples of stories shared using these three methods.
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© Karen Cortell Reisman, M.S., author of 3 books and President of Speak For Yourself®, works with decision makers on how to speak with gravitas. It’s all in how you speak for yourself. Karen also speaks about her cousin, Albert Einstein, in a message about hope, resilience and brassieres.
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