This post first appeared on the Women’s Enterprise Centre blog in July 2017
In this last of our 3-part series on stories, let’s go ‘live.’ Effective business stories should be memorable and repeatable. How else to know than to test them out loud and with an audience?
Stand and deliver to an audience in person or craft your stories for online platforms. Know that practice lends consistency to your message and connection to your audience.
To be right and ready, stories should be told. Practice builds your confidence.
You’ve got two practice modes:
Read your notes out loud. Get feedback if you can from a reliable listener.
Even when you read your notes loud alone, you will detect the long sentences or the words that need a fix to keep momentum and interest going on the page or in person.
Stand up. Breathe. Slow down. Practice telling and you’ll reduce any awkward feelings when you present.
2. Public practice
The best way, even the only way to build your confidence is to tell, tell and refine your stories.
Get what I call ‘air time’ or speaking opportunities to test your message and improve your delivery.
Cumulative practice lets you customize on the spot and be spontaneous to your listeners with confidence while you present the consistent message of your brand.
Nervous? Know this:
A) Listeners are cheering for you to succeed. They hope to learn, laugh, improve or be assured – whatever your message and stories promise.
B) In this buzzed up high-speed world, a listener is giving you their most precious and sought-after resource: their attention.
Be authentic and relevant and have confidence in knowing that story works in business and how well you match your message and purpose.
Your practice time helps present you well and positively in all areas including platforms that represent you 24/7 such as your website, sales letter, blog, social media posts and so on.
Your voice, your story will come across and be consistent. Have confidence in that.
Helena Kaufman creates content and coaches business bloggers through her Vancouver based service, Story Market. It’s her passion. She invokes 25 years of experience in public relations and an award-winning writing career to interpret and present the stories of people, programs and organizations. “It all starts with a story,” she says.