Tag: Storytelling

Don’t Make an Enemy of Your Best Friend.

The Pensive Buttoner pic

What is the worst thing a guy can do to his best friend?

Ask him to be the Best Man at his wedding!

He will have to make a speech fitting for the occasion and also find a tuxedo that fits. He will lie awake night after night wondering what to say and worrying about it.  It will totally occupy his mind for weeks. As the time draws near pimples will start sprouting on his face from the stress. Everyone else’s preparations for the wedding seems to be going smoothly except his speech.

Finally the day arrives, the guests look splendid and happy but the best man cannot enjoy himself, it is the worst experience of his life. He is sure he will make a fool of himself, no one will find his jokes funny.

Fight or flight mode kicks in, all the blood drains from his brain to his muscles in readiness to run like hell. His memory, starved of oxygen and blood shuts down and he completely forgets his opening lines. His mouth is so dry not a word can come out. Poor guy!

My advice: Don’t make an enemy of your best friend by asking him to be best man at your wedding unless you provide him with an experienced speaking coach.  If you ask me, I know just the man for the job. He makes speaking in front of an audience an exciting and fun challenge. He can provide your best man with guidance on gathering content, structuring and delivering his speech. And perhaps most importantly, how to make it really captivating by weaving in anecdotes and stories. The audience will love it and he will be the second most popular guy.

For workshops and 1:1 specialised coaching:

martin.jugmans@gmail.com

 

 

An Analysis of How Oprah Skilfully Integrates Storytelling Into Her Acceptance Speech.

Being an experienced TV talk show host, actress and producer, Oprah has the charisma to deliver a compelling speech. What struck me is how she owns the stage. She makes it look easy and natural suggesting her preparation was meticulous.

She opens with a vignette, a brief personal recollection and in typical storytelling style sets the scene – 1964 on a linoleum floor in Milwaukee. Its simple, personal and evocative. Her confidence fuels a desire to want to hear more. In just a few lines she has captured the audience’s attention and created anticipation.

Eloquently portrayed, Sidney Poitier is the protaganist of Oprah’s opening story. She adds a strong visual element by vividly describing him and infuses her description with passion, expressing what she felt at the time. She does this very economically by using a single and strong white tie/black skin contrast.

As with any good story there are obstacles that need to be overcome and challenges that are faced. Oprah delicately refers to this saying that when she was a girl how rare it was to see a black person being celebrated and honoured for outstanding achievement. Also saying that she is the first black woman to receive the award implies many difficulties were encountered along the way.

The resolution of her story is a dream come true. The story began in 1964 and we are brought to the present moment. She is now the one being acknowledged in the same way as Sidney Poitier was back then and she takes responsibility for being a role model.

Oprah’s acceptance speech has a message:

To maintain hope for a brighter morning and noboby having to say #MeToo again. To illustrate this Oprah goes on to tell the story about Recy Taylor. A story she chose because it is relevant to her message. She keeps the details of the story down to the absolute essentials, imparting only what is necessary to get her message across, it is pleasantly devoid of fluff and padding. While telling this story and indeed throughout her whole speech variations in her tone of voice is masterful.  The way she says, “Just walking home,” is light and airy yet strongly contrasts with how she adds emphasis and force to the word kill in, “They threatened to kill her if she ever told anyone.”

Again she adds relevance to the story of Recy Taylor and brings it closer to us by announcing that Recy had recently passed on.

She tells us how women’s personal stories of abuse have culminated into the wider #MeToo movement and the collective story has trancended race, religion and politics.  She emphasises that, “Speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have.”

Oprah skilfully integrates stories into her speech to get her message across and leaves a lasting impression.

Workshop: Storytelling Essentials for Effective Communication.

Workshop: Storytelling Essentials for Effective Communication.

A Practical Workshop on Business Storytelling.

Stories are about life and the life experience. Using stories, anecdotes and vignettes to clarify your message is a way to fast track a positive engagement with your audience. Human brains have a story listening mode, when activated it makes it devilishly easy for a speaker to captivate the attention of an audience. The term used is, “suspension of disbelief”. It is like getting the entire audience into a light hypnotic state in which they become more than ever attentive and receptive. This workshop reveals storytelling essentials and guides participants on a creative journey. Using practical exercises, examples and personalised feedback participants are able to find, structure and deliver a complete story for a specific purpose.  For a qualitative experience the workshop is limited to a maximum of 12 participants.

In Part 2 at a later date attention will be given to creating subtle nuances in a story to increase the depth of audience engagement to make a story sure to stick.

Workshop Part 1.

Purpose:  Find, structure and deliver a story to illustrate a specific message.

What you will learn: Sourcing stories, where to get them. Story construction and flow. Methods to create a spell binding effect. Delivering for maximum impact.

Benefits:  Engage the audience by creating an experience. Inspire, motivate, persuade and leave a lasting impression. Bring ideas and concepts into a form that is easy to understand and remember.

Who should attend: Leaders, Change Makers, Teachers, Trainers, Managers, Facilitators, Conference and Seminar speakers.

When: Friday 10th of November 2017. 14:00-18:00.

Where: ICAB. Rue des Pères Blancs/Witte Patersstraat 4, 1040 Brussels.

What participants say: “Excellent evaluations given for the exercises.”

“A practical , visual and engaging workshop.”

“Easy to follow structures with good examples.”

Register:  Eventbrite: Book your place here.

 

 

 

To Gain Clarity-Remove Clutter

To Gain Clarity-Remove Clutter

In 1998 when living in Sun Valley near Cape-Town my ceiling nearly collapsed because of the amount of sand that had been blown in under the roof tiles. Capetonians call it “The South-Easter” A strong, persistent, onshore wind, whipping up beach sand and driving it into every conceivable nook and cranny. The entire city gets a thorough sand blasting.

In Cape Town city centre the wind becomes an incessant gale force as it is channelled and accelerated through the buildings. Cyclists and pedestrians struggle to see through the flying grit and keep their balance.  The South-Easter can howl continuously for days.

Locals have nicknamed it “The Cape Doctor.” It also brings with it a beautiful mantle of cloud which gracefully rests on Table Mountain. Kite surfers and windsurfers welcome the strong steady wind and can be seen skimming across the waves at incredible speeds. But most of all when the wind dies down fair weather descends on the Western Cape and the air is crisp and clean for all.

The legendary Cape Doctor clears all pollution and pestilence.

Turbulent times present challenges but there are silver linings during the process and the satisfaction of having clear skies and clean air is mighty sweet.

When the fear of change, the unknown and the prospect of having to make sacrifices are preventing people from moving forwards, a well-articulated story could make all the difference. I’ve seen it work time and again by leaders like Barack Obama and Steve Jobs. Sometimes even a simple anecdote will do. Claims made in stories must be backed up but a story will provide the inspiration. Inspiration is the fuel for motivation, a key to unleash latent potential and the sauce to make a vision happen.

If you aim at creating something extraordinary and making it clear and understood, contact me on +32 498 523 649 on how to put business storytelling to work in your organisation.