Build Narrative Into Your Presentations

 

Lesson Info

Class Introduction & Warm-up

This class is called Build Narrative Into Your Presentations, and the first part that we are going to tackle is our introduction and warm-ups. Perfect. Yeah. So as we've been doing in all of our classes, we kinda just wanna review all of the goals and all of the lessons that we're going to go over in this class. So the first lesson is how to discover your personal story. It's one thing I want you to really start thinking about right now, is that stories are just your experiences. You don't have to be a great story teller to have stories. So you're going to play with those a little bit today. We have a great exercise to add really simple structure to your stories and give yourself a template to help tell those stories. We're going to focus on adding detail to your language, so painting a picture with words, and we'll figure out ways to best do that with a partner. We have a super fun exercise, one of my favorites, where we're going to play with metaphor and simile. And the...

n we're gonna finally do an exercise where you get to present like an improviser, once again using our show format as a guide. We're going to focus on putting it all together and giving a full-fledged presentation off the top of your head. And you've been talking to us throughout these classes about the Speechless point system. Will you talk a little bit about narrative and how that fits in? Sure, so again, to reiterate, for those of you just joining us potentially, in this class, the point system is the training system that Speechless uses. It's also the judge's criteria in our live improvisational comedy shows. But POINT stands for what your can see up there, presence, originality, inclusion, narrative, and transformation. We have a class in each one of those subject matters. This one is particularly around narrative. And when you think of narrative, you obviously think of story. You also think in the presentation in speech context, you think about content. So when we really start talking about what it is you're going to say, it's really about the narrative. What is the story you're going to tell? How are you going to structure that story? How are you going to get it to the end? And what does it feel like for the audience to hear that story. And for those of you just joining us, we wanna review the expectations around improve and you, because improvisation can sometimes feel a little bit scary if it's something that's new or unfamiliar. So the expectations when we ask you to do improvisation in here are to be spontaneous, so to really embrace the ideas that you have and share them with us. The first thing off the top of your head. And support each other. Make each other look and feel good at all times. You know, improv is really not about you, but it's about how you support others. So, we're going to do that again. Yeah, and then after we've made each other look and feel good, we're gonna then, yes and ideas. So part of how I will make you look and feel good and create a supportive environment is by validating your ideas and then adding my own to them and expecting you to do the same. Yes, and we're going to enjoy ourselves because even though we're talking about applying this to one of the most boring topics in the world, public speaking, we're gonna have fun, because that is how you make public speaking more enjoyable in the first place. For everyone, for everyone. Yeah. So Sammy, let's do a little preparation, shall we? Get 'em warmed up? Let's do it. Just like in all of our classes, we practice what we preach. We always say, our philosophy is, if you're a presenter, you're a performer, and performers warm-up before they get on stage. So as usual, let's warm-up. So let's have everybody stand up. We've done this in pretty much every single class, and there's a reason for it, because when we get back in here for another class, it's another show, it's another performance, Another show. Another presentation. So we're going to do shake-out once again. I'm gonna shake out my right arm, a count of eight, then my left arm, a count of eight, my right leg, my left leg. Then we're gonna do four per each limb, two, then one. And then I want you to strike a pose. We've been doing this each time. This pose, I want it to be a work of art, a statue, or a sculpture. It can be something that you've seen and inspired by before that exists in the world, or you can create your own. But either way, we're going to hit another creative pose. So follow me, here we go. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight. One, two, three, four. One, two, three, four. One, two, three, four. One, two, three, four. One, two. One, two. One, two. One, two. One. One. One. One. Wonderful, we'll just walk around and we'll see. Do we know what your statue is called? Is there a name for it? More or less a David, Davida situation. David, Davida situation. (soft chuckling) And how about you, Heidi? I'm embracing the sun. Embracing the sun, it seems that this one is similar, maybe a collection by the same artist? What's it called? Extension. Extension. And Irina, what are you? I'm myself. I'm myself. Oooh. Self portrait. Alright, give yourselves a round of applause. (clapping) And the people in the room, you can take a seat, the people in the room, and the people watching at home, if you've watched other classes up to this point may be thinking, why do we keep doing this? It's exactly what I said, you have to warm up before you go on stage, and there's a few that we just like doing every single time, and because of the nature of these classes, where we are doing them one at a time, there is down time in between, there is sitting, there is other stuff. You're getting out of the mindset, the improv thinking mindset and doing other things. For instance, I've been sitting down. I've been having coffee. I've maybe checked email. I have to do this again, because now I'm back on stage. So you have to keep doing it. It's not a, there's not a continuum for being a performer, in terms of your success as a performer. You have to constantly do it, and that's why we keep going back to some of these simple ways to warm up, just so that we can back into that improv thinking mindset. It's a nice reset button for us. Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. So we also wanna warm up because we're going to be telling stories, and we wanna warm up that yes and muscle. And we're going to do that by telling some yes and stories. So in one of our earlier classes, we took an imaginary trip together, and we got to yes and those stories. So we want to do that as a group. Where would be a fun place to go just as a group? Like where would we want to take, oh you know what, Heidi wanted to go to Italy earlier. She did. So I think we should take a group trip all of us. Good idea. So I want us to have gone on a trip, and we're going to think back and remember what that trip was like. So do you remember when we went to Italy together, everybody? Yeah, one of my favorite things that happened was we all went to that restaurant and we got to learn how to make pasta. Now I would love to invite any of you to raise your hand and just we're going to yes and the ideas and create a story. Yeah. Yes, and I loved the mushrooms in the pasta. Yes, and you loved the mushrooms. Yes and that idea to build a story. Yes, and the mushrooms were grown by Old Man Luigi who lived on that little mountain next to the pasta restaurant. Yes, and then we visited that mountain and Luigi. And Luigi, yeah, we got to visit and meet Luigi. What else? Yes, and Luigi had the most beautiful daughter that brought us all out these little glasses of wine. So, so beautiful. Yes, and then thankfully, she brought us out larger glasses of ouzo. Oh, yes, yes and. Yes, and we all got a little tipsy as we were eating our pasta. Irina. Yes, and they showed us their winery, and the types of wine that they grow for their wines. Yeah, will you end it for us? Yes, and then Mario, Luigi's brother, came in and said, everyone, put down the wine, the princess is missing. That's a whole other story. We don't have time for that. It's a whole other thing. Whole other story. That was beautiful, thank you. (clapping) So we want to engage that yes and muscle whether we're working with other people to tell stories or telling our own stories, just to really embrace the ideas that come up spontaneously, and assume that in this moment, in this situation, it is the right idea, and so we're going to go ahead and say it out loud and share it.

When you watch a movie, read a book or even listen to a song, what’s the thing that draws you in? The story. By framing what you want to express within a narrative, you help people better understand, follow and care about what you’re saying.

Infusing stories in all of your business communications—from presentations to meetings to casual interactions—will get your colleagues to really listen to what you’re saying. They’ll also enjoy listening to you and never find you boring.

This class will help you develop ways to structure, create and explore narrative. We’ll use tried and true improvisational techniques as well easy, practical and applicable tools. By the end, you’ll be able to mesmerize your audiences and have them hanging on your every word.

In this class, you’ll learn how to:

  • Connect with others through story.
  • Use a story spine to craft your story, give it definition and develop mission visions.
  • Explore different ways to add story to everything you present and share.
  • Personalize your content so you can ease your nerves and establish deeper connections with your audience and colleagues.
  • Avoid presentations that are too long or too short, rambling, overly technical, and either too high level or too complex.
  • Conquer your stage fright by weaving in a familiar story so you can connect to yourself more deeply and feel a sense of calm on stage.
  • Inspire and engage your audience with a great hook that’s never boring.

 
 
 
 

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