VITAL INGREDIENTS FOR THE STORYTELLER’S CAKE…
What a delicious cake! There are three bowls of ingredients – the visual, the vocal and the verbal. The right ingredients and the right proportions and you have a recipe that is appetising and irresistible.
Developing the ability to give a presenter / storyteller specific, constructive feedback on what they do well and what they can improve on is, of course, immensely helpful.
Once you have developed this ability to give a friend or colleague some constructive feedback on their body language, their voice and their presentation content you are ready for the next step… Self coaching.
There are so many ways to do this – mobile phone camera, tablet, the Zoom recording function on your laptop. A little goes a long way. Record 30 – 60 seconds of the start of your presentation story, the middle and, of course, the end of your presentation.
Then, and you will need to be both brave and kind here, give yourself feedback on your own presentation. You will be rewarded manyfold for any time you spend on this.
By managing the physical, vocal and verbal aspects of your presentation skilfully, you will be opening an important doorway to your audience. This doorway has many descriptive names – being on board; on the same wavelength; neural coupling; rapport; etc. This doorway gives your audience access to the very heart of the message you wish to convey.
Choose one single element/ingredient to observe – Visual, Vocal or Verbal – and then tell the storyteller:-
“What I liked about your story was…”.
Be specific about what you hear or see. And now give them some points for improvement:
“What I would like to see or hear more of would be…”.
Again, be as specific as possible about what you would like to see or hear more of.
The 3 Bowls and the Ingredients
Visual – The storytellers body language:
Are they ‘holding the space’?:
- Stature / Posture
- Facial expression
- Eye contact
- Camera quality
- The physical background
- The virtual background
- Clothing & colouring – is the presenter disappearing?:
- A paler skin colour with a light background?
- A darker skin colour with a darker background?
- Does their clothing colouring bring their face forward?
Auditory – Storyteller’s voice:
- Speed, rhythm and articulation
- Pitch and variation
- Silence and pausing
Microphone quality and placement
Is the English clear and simple?
Engagement – does the presenter give stories, metaphors, analogies and use rich sensory words?
Does the presenter offer an effective balance of:
- Logos – logic and analysis?
- Ethos – evidence and credibility?
- Pathos – emotion and stories?
Footnote – exercises for workshop attendees:
- I would like 4 or 5 volunteers to deliver a short presentation to your colleagues.
- Choose any subject for your presentation – work, home or leisure activities.
- Make it short – between 90 seconds and 2 minutes. Spend some time at the beginning and end of your presentation speaking directly to the camera before screen sharing.
- It’s not really about you at all… The point of the exercise is for your colleagues to turn feedback delivery, 180 degrees, towards themselves i.e. self coaching!
- Your colleagues will then give you warm and constructive feedback on any improvements you can make.