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Storytelling & Presentation Skills


I am looking for exercises for use in a short training session to provide delegates with an interactive experience on how to use storytelling for use in presentations - as part of a presentation skills training workshop.

Any ideas or suggestions please?

6 Responses

  1. “my most” exercise….


    Ask the delegates to select a word that describes an experience…..boring, memorable, thrilling, terrifying etc.(you can have a brainstorm to fill a flipchart with appropriate words if you want/have time.

    They are then to speak for up to 2 minutes starting with the words "My most xxxx experience was….." and ending with the words, "and that was my most xxxx experience/that was the most xxxx experience of my life."

    After all the delegates have spoken, challenge the others to recall everything they can about each person’s presentation; no notes, no assistance from the story teller.  It is amazing how much of a story people can retain simply from hearing it recounted and seeing the non verbal behaviours of the storyteller…especially where people can relate personally to the story.  It is a real demonstration of the VAK elements and it is totally devoid of "PowerPoint"! 

    I hope this helps


  2. Thank you

    Rus, just the sort of thing I am after – to get them engaged and to help refelct on the skill of story telling.

    Thank you very much!

  3. Try an Ericksonian approach – but not for ‘short’ trainings

    Hi Anna

    I find that using an approach that draws upon Milton Ericksons use of ‘artfully vague’ language and the use of metaphor can be powerful for helping people understand how to create stories that promote curiousity during a learning event and also reinforce learning points.

    Ericksonian storytelling can be broken down into teachable chunks and just requires skillfully demonstration followed by practice of the chunks/elements and feedback – not something that you can effectively do in less than half a day to build any basic level of skill.  This is something I tend to do on Trainer Training programs.  It’s fun to practice as well.

    There are a number of videos on YouTube of him demonstrating his techniques and Googling will probably find you a framework for his storytelling and language patterns.



  4. Thank you

    Mark, thank you – sounds very interesting – I will research into this to find out more.

  5. Why story telling is easy!

    It strikes me that masterful story tellers know why they are telling the story, it is then an easy process as the story is being told to convey a message. Less succesful presenters start by telling a good story because they like the story rather than it having any real purpose. Simon Sinek’s book "start with why" suggests that inspiring leaders do the same thing. First, they communicate their why; their purpose, their beliefs, their vision. Then, they show people how they will go about fulfilling their vision; actions that reflect their beliefs. Finally, they choose what exactly they are going to do; measures that will indicate they have been successful with their hows. What I might do is ask the audience in one sentence to tell a neighbor something they like about their life. Then I might ask them to define why it is important. If it seems vague, use the six sigma technique of asking why five times, this often clarifies beliefs substantialy. The how then becomes think of a two minute story that conveys this value. Finally, ask what measures can be employed to know that the story has succeeded in communicating this value. The measures need to be tangible. Have them tell the story and gain feedback on why their audience thought they told the story. The story readily unfolds when it is used to indicate a bigger picture. Understanding how others interpret the story is insightful information for any story teller.

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Thank you!