Storytelling Can Turn a Ho-Hum Lecture Into a Wow Natter
I am a health writer and cite studies and statistics to back-up points. When I state at conferences I am appropriate careful approximately the proof I cite. Listeners tend to forget research, on the other hand they commemorate stories. One declamation about anticipatory grief, based on a notebook I co-authored, contained indefinite stories from my life. The comedy about my mother's driving was the hit of the "show."
My immeasurable tried to invest in her driver's licence when I was in high-reaching school. She gave up on this fantasy after she drove the automobile into the front porch of our house. Her air castle was last of all realized after she became a widow, moved to Florida, and passed her driving blue book at interval 78. Mom was eminent to be a licensed driver.
License or not, I worried about he. In modern telephone conversations Mom was so forgetful I confident to visitation her and behold her cognition. It turned gone that Mom was far added forgetful than I thought. Her condo was a wreck, her closet was plentiful with current clothes that didn't fit, she kept losing her territory keys, and was addicted to the lottery. These were evil sufficiently and then I construct elsewhere about her driving.
We were going to the grocery store. Mom got into the car, fastened her seat belt, adjusted the mirror, and looked ultimate her before she backed out. She drove away of the plenty slowly and cautiously. I wondered provided I had misjudged her forgetfulness. As soon as we reached the leading plan Mom floored it and sped down the way at an alarming percentage of speed.
I opened the window and heard a "woosh" every age we passed a palm tree. At this scale Mom would miss the grocery store. Mom surprised me. She mythical a broad turn into the lot, sped gone parked cars (missing them by an inch), proverb an empty space, jammed on the brakes, and parked diagonally across two bloodless lines.
"See, I can drive!" she exclaimed. I didn't apperceive if to crack up or cry.
Listeners laughed while I was telling the story. They in truth laughed at the punch line. Telling this clothesline did various things. First, it lightened the mood. Second, it imaginary my great real. Third, it created a visual picture for the audience. Fourth, it illustrated the danger of a demented workman persist the wheel. Fifth, it illustrated the interrogation I faced -- getting Mom to change to my national town so I could worry for her.
I claim from a detailed outline. The main points of my chalk talk are numbered and sub-points are bulleted. There are reminders later to indispensable points, such as "Tell version about Mom's driving."
Storytelling isn't enough to turn a bummer monologue into an animated one. You own to physique on the story. I followed up the driving anecdote with comments about my creeps in the car, how my brobdingnagian situate others at risk, and the provocation of long-distance apprehension giving. I besides described the anticipatory grief I felt when I realized the size of Mom's dementia.
Though we living in a high-tech lifetime body politic all the more love a beneficial story. Whether you are preparing a dissertation promptly I expectancy you testament credit of stories to get-up-and-go with it. Participation your stories aloud. Recorder your pitch, headline principal words, cover pauses, and end gestures. Storytelling will maintenance listeners flash the points of your talk. They will and cite you.
Copyright 2008 by Harriet Hodgson
Published: July 25, 2008