“The Logician understands the logic behind storytelling.
Therefore he uses stories to illustrate his points,
making them accessible to a larger audience.”
~ From Public Speaking Super Powers by Carma Spence
The most talked-about storytelling benefit is that it helps your audience connect with you and your topic. It helps them understand your message more clearly and, often, in a more deeply personal way. But did you know that another storytelling benefit is that it can help you remember your speech?
Ask yourself this question: Which do you find easier to remember? Facts? Or a well-crafted story?
If you are like the majority of people, you will remember good stories much more readily than dry facts. Yes, there are people who are skilled at remembering facts, however, they are the minority. Our brains are hard-wired to tell and hear stories.
This is why storytelling is such a useful communication tool. But it also comes with the benefit of being an excellent memory tool, as well.
Mnemonic Devices Use Storytelling Benefits
Take mnemonic devices, for example. One I learned to help me remember the planets was “My Very Excellent Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas.” Of course, now that Pluto is no longer classified as a planet, it doesn’t work so well. That said, it is a relatively easy-to-remember mini-story that can help you remember the order of the planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto.”
Take a look at the mnemonic devices you use and I’ll probably find that most of them form micro stories, just like this one.
Integrate Storytelling Benefits Into the Structure of Your Speech
Now apply this concept to your presentations. If you can think of your speech as a story – give it a beginning, a middle, and an end – you will find it easier to remember. Also, using stories within your presentation makes those parts of the speech easier to remember, as well.
Fill your presentation with triggers that help you remember “insert the story about X here.” For example, if I were speaking about overcoming technology failures during a speech, I would know to include a story about one such occurrence I had experienced or witnessed. As long as I can remember the general outline of my speech, I can flesh it out on the go with stories that illustrate my points.
You Can Benefit from Storytelling Regardless of Your Current Skill Level
A beautiful storytelling benefit is that it is a skill that can be practiced. Of course, some people may be natural storytellers. However, if that’s not you, don’t worry. It may take some time for you to build this skill, and you may not become as good as the naturals, but you will eventually get better and therefore benefit from the perks of storytelling.