When it comes to keynote speakers, storytelling matters. The best public and keynote speakers make use of personal stories to communicate effectively with their listeners. An interesting story has the power to grab the audience’s attention, keep them engaged and involved and share valuable insight that an audience can use to influence their life. It’s this style of storytelling, when accomplished well, brings life into a keynote speech.
However, not all keynote speakers are necessarily storytellers. So, here are some quick ideas on how you can incorporate storytelling in your keynote speech:
Define your target audience to ensure you receive the desired response. What are their likes and dislikes? What are the most pressing issues they face? Knowing this gives you an idea of how your story will relate to them and be relevant for them.
Every story has a purpose. What’s your end goal as the keynote speaker? Determine the purpose of your story to offer something of value to the audience. If you are conducting a corporate keynote session, how will the story reflect back or even add humor to key issues?
Speak about your real life experiences. Let the audience know your accomplishments and failures, strengths and weaknesses, and more. We all like hero stories, but don’t let all the stories be about you and how great you are. Boring. How is this real life story funny to them? And don’t forget that we all like failure stories also. As long as we learn what we could have done instead to change the failure outcome.
You don’t necessarily have to start the story at the beginning. You can begin in the middle or even at the end. Try to mix it up to generate your audience’s attention. Have you thought of intro’ing the story at the very beginning and ending it to wrap up the keynote?
Talk to the audience. Ask questions about them. Use humor. Have a conversation with them.
Visualization is a key element of effective storytelling. Help your audience visualize what you are talking about. In other words, don’t just spell out dry factual information. Share your emotion, act it out, play the characters and give it a full sensory experience.
Study how professional keynote speakers incorporate stories into their keynote sessions. Observe how they speak and engage with audiences.
Check out funny keynote speaker Jon Petz’s keynote sessions. Jon Petz is one of the most renowned conference keynote speakers in the country today. He is an entertaining keynote speaker who engages his audience to laugh louder, perform better and achieve more.
Many companies look to him to motivate their workforce in corporate and association events. Read what his clients have to say about his unique keynote sessions here.