How to tell a story from stage and become a world-class storyteller? A story is what activates the imagination of the audience members and makes the speech memorable. How you tell a story determines whether an audience will enjoy your speech and remember the message or not.
If you watch some of the greatest movies, theatrical plays, or speeches, you will notice that all of them are created based on a perfect story structure. The stories that use a perfect story structure keep the audience members engaged and excited and are remembered for years.
Your story will have the biggest impact if its structure is as close to the perfect story structure as possible. Richard’s story is created completely in accordance with the perfect structure and is a very strong one. Let’s see what the perfect story structure consists of. (Watch the video below)
The perfect story begins with premise introduction. Here you can say where and when the action takes place, introduce main characters, and, if it is necessary, briefly describe their background. Premise introduction allows listeners to draw a scene in their imagination and then see a mental movie while you tell a story.
For example in Richard Turer’s story, the action takes place in his village in Kenya National Nairobi Park. Richard introduces lions who kill zebras, himself, and warriors who kill lions and protect the livestock.
Right after the premise description the conflict needs to be introduced to provoke curiosity of the listeners. Conflict creates questions in the minds of the audience members such as, “What will the character do next? How will this conflict be resolved?”
In Richard’s speech conflict is introduced right after the premise and can be summarized in the following way, “Lions kill the livestock of the village dwellers and Moran warriors kill lions. On one hand people of Masai suffer because their livestock is killed, but on the other hand the Nairobi Park suffers because there are very few lions left.”
Conflict makes audience members curious to hear a story and a resolution in the end. If your story has a conflict, the audience will be excited to learn what will happen next and their attention will be yours during the entire speech.
Once a conflict is introduced, escalate it, and increase tension in the story until it reaches the climax. For example, “Richard first tried to scare the lions using fire. It didn’t work. Next he came up with an idea to scare the lions with a scarecrow, but it worked only for one day, and still didn’t solve the problem of protecting the livestock.”
If after announcing the conflict you give a resolution right away, the audience may not be yet interested to hear it. However, if you let the audience suffer with the character and feel the frustration they will be eager to learn a resolution in the end and will remember the story for a long time.
A climax scene is the most exciting and critical part of the story because it shows how a conflict is finally resolved. Show the climax scene in detail so that audience members can clearly see it in their imagination.
For example, instead of just saying, “I figured out that lions are scared of the moving light, so I assembled the blinking torch and it solved the issue with lions in my village,” Richard lets listeners clearly see the resolution of the conflict. You can see how exactly Richard learned electronics, how he assembled the blinking torches, and what the lions saw near the cowshed.
The goal of every story is to illustrate a point that a speaker associated it with. If in conclusion a point is tied to a story, it will be remembered for a long time and sometimes it will change the lives of the audience members for the better. In Richard’s story the point was: “I used to hate lions, but after my invention we are able to co-exist with lions without conflict.” People always remember best what they hear last. The conclusion is perhaps the most important part of the speech because it gives value to the audience members and lets them remember a takeaway message.
Stories are easy to remember because they provoke the imagination of the audience. The perfect story structure proved to be the most effective structure not only in public speaking, but also in written stories, movies, and theatrical plays. If you not only know how to tell a story but also actually use a perfect story structure in your speeches very soon you will become a world-class storyteller. Use all or most of the perfect story structure components and your story will become as powerful as possible.
Watch more great speeches: Watch 15 Best Public Speaking Videos Every Speaker Should Watch
To become a world-class speaker read: Magic of Public Speaking Book