Take these vital steps for storytelling mastery

A New York Times writer recently served up a hearty helping of public speaking guidance, advice and strategic insight. Here’s how to spin a more compelling yarn.

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That’s not really a saying in Alabama, or anywhere, to my knowledge, though the nugget of truth in that made-up maxim is this: There is power in great storytelling.

For those interested in harnessing that power, Daniel McDermon of The New York Times recently wrote a piece titled “How to Tell a Story,” which offers a trove of tips and tricks to captivate an audience. The article divvies up guidance into four parts:

Who, what, when

Before crafting a speech or presentation, consider the needs, preferences and sensibilities of your audience. Regardless of the scene or situation, McDermon advises finding a “universal thread that everyone can relate to.” He also cites advice from Toastmasters veteran Aaron Beverly, who stresses the importance of repetition, practice and more practice.

As for the “what” your speech should consist of, McDermon offers insight from playwright Brenda Wong Aoki. She says to tell “personal stories” that can generate empathy, commonality and understanding.

Putting it together

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