Business Storytelling For Dummies
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After spending some time practicing your business story with a partner and getting feedback, tell your story repeatedly in informal settings. Here are five ways to do that:

  • Try the story out on others. If you'll be telling the story to a varied audience, find people who are similar to those who'll hear it. This is the optimal way to take your story to the next level.

  • Take your talk on a walk. Take a leisurely stroll while speaking the story out loud. Let your hand gestures and facial expressions occur naturally. You'll undoubtedly find things you want to change, so carry your written story or storyboard and a pen with you.

    You're also building a kinesthetic storytelling experience into your body. The story becomes more of a physical experience rather than a mental exercise — which mirrors what will happen in front of an audience.

  • Practice the story out loud while getting ready for bed, in the shower, when doing housework, and the like. These are great ways to embed the story in your mind the way you want to tell it so you don't have to rely on your notes. Doing this helps you focus on telling the story in the presence of distractions that you might encounter.

  • Imagine yourself sitting or standing comfortably with an interviewer and your audience in the room with you. Practice the first minute or two of the story. Then practice delivering the ending. Also focus on the wording of the transitions between momentary events.

Too much rehearsing may create an inflexible story. You'll forget to pay attention to the audience so you can shift and change the story in the moment to manifest a co-created experience. You don't want to look insincere as if you're performing from rote memory.

You'll hear people advise you to practice your story (and presentation) in front of a mirror. Or to video yourself as you tell your story so you can make corrections. Ignore both. Looking at yourself in front of a mirror or on camera isn't going to help; it'll only make you self-conscious. People who practice with a listener sound more authentic and conversational.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book authors:

Karen Dietz, PhD, is a 25-year veteran in business storytelling consulting, training, and leadership, and organizational development. Lori L. Silverman offers business storytelling training, keynotes, and consulting. For 26 years, she's advised enterprises on strategic planning and organizational change.

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