Do you want to know what the single biggest difference is between great communicators? People who are great public speakers presenters versus the average ones? The boring ones? It's not about intelligence. It's not about looks. It's not this nebulous thing people like to call charisma.
It's not the absence of arms as ORS. You know, it's not even about even having a sense of humor. Although humor helps. The single biggest difference between great speakers and presenters and everybody else. great communicators use stories to illustrate all their key points. When I ask people all over the globe, whether I'm training a financial executive or a prime minister, I get the same response.
I asked them, What do you remember from the best speakers you've seen beyond the fact that someone was comfortable or engaging or walked around. The only thing anyone remembers the stories now they remember the messages associated with the stories. But they remember the stories. Now you're probably thinking, well, that's great TJ, but you know, I'm not an actual storyteller. And my industry we don't have at all a bunch of excuses. It doesn't have to be anything particularly fancy.
For example, a few years ago, I was conducting kind of a run of the mill, presentation training. And major healthcare executive, a CEO had flown into New York City to work with me for a day. And we were in my training facility in midtown Manhattan. And the staff had called me in advance in teaching, we've worked on this speech for three months, whatever you do, don't change it. It's been approved by all the different people, the lawyers investor, everyone signed off on it. You know, let's try not to change it.
I said, Hey, we're gonna try to improve him the best we can and everything. way possible. So Jim gets there early in the morning, I started the presentation training as I do it all up. I just had him get up and speak. I recorded it on video. So he gives his presentation.
It's about 15 minutes long. I record it. We play it back. And he asked me when I think of it, and his speech consisted of him sort of head down, going through a whole bunch of bullet points, reading, reading bullet points on a slide and totally normal presentation, no worse than any other presentation I've seen. But he's basically reading off of a script. He's reading off of bullet points on the screen.
And he wants to know what I think and I said, Jim, I'll tell you what I think. But I want to know what you think and again, I made him really watch his own presentation. When it was done, he turned to me said, oh my god teach. It's so boring. I wouldn't want to watch me. What did you think?
And I said, Well, Jim, you seem like a smart fellow. If you think it's incredibly boring, guess what? It is. And we took his speech. And we just poured up into little pieces, balled it up, and we threw it in the trash can. Okay, Jim, let's roll up our sleeves.
Let's try get we got a clean sheet of paper. we brainstorm on how many? That's right, just the top five ideas that we really wanted to convey to his audience for this presentation. And then he came up with a little story for each one an example for each one and he had a single sheet of paper. We got rid of the slides because they were worthless. And this time he just spoke focused on a few ideas.
We recorded it, looked at it. Then he didn't even ask me what I thought he's like, oh my god. Yeah, it's 1000 times better. TJ, you're a genius. Well, I'm not a genius. I'm just getting people to stop boring their audiences to death.
Okay, so what I do that I just told a little story happens to be a true story. There's nothing particularly glamorous or exciting about it wasn't in an exotic locale. It's just in my office in midtown Manhattan. There wasn't any great drama. Nobody cried, but he pulled a gun on me. That has happened before.
A simple story, but it had a character had a problem has setting had a little dialogue had a challenge. It had some emotion involved and it had a solution. That's all the story is. So if you really want to convince Your main message is you need to package each message with a store. And the story wasn't for me just to be entertaining it was to convey a very important point that you don't want to bore your audience, you don't want to just do this boring data dump, you want to have narrowed your message down to five. But if I just said that in 10 seconds, it goes in one ear and out the other.
By telling a story that only took a couple of minutes. It allows the audience to visualize it. That's the real power of story is it forces the audience that you're speaking to that you're presenting to, to essentially run a little movie reel along with what you're saying? that triggers the memory process. That's why story is so important. So it's not just about opening your speech with a story or a funny story to lose.
Some people know it's critical to the whole communication process. You need an actual Relevant story, a real story. Not some generic motivational starfish story but a real story about a real problem, a real conversation you had with a real person, a client, colleague, customer prospect, and how the problem was resolved. If you do that, you're instantly going to be one of the best speakers your audience has seen today, possibly ever. So I need you to start thinking about your stories you're going to use for your messages. For the presentation, you're going to be delivering