Hello, this is Bronwyn Ritchie,
speech coach from Pivotal Public Speaking, and I am
absolutely entranced by the
value that storytelling adds to our public speaking and
I spent 15 years in the academic
system and except in creative writing, the whole process
involved facts and theories. I specialised in
history and it was all based on facts, dates,
revolutions, cause/effect, kings, presidents and masses
of people called peasants, or middle class or rulers or
the population of an area. I ached for the stories
behind all of those facts, behind the theories and
behind the groups of people. I have had to turn to
historical fiction and movies to really feel, understand
and remember just what was really transpiring in any
particular year, or historical movement or revolution.
Who were these people? What were they doing?
What were they thinking? What was their story?
But because I did well and
respected my lecturers and the system, I learned to
write and communicate those facts, those theories and
those dates and movements in history. Then when it
came to speaking and communicating to groups of people
the automatic response I had was to support my messages
with those same things - facts, data, theories.
And that same aching disconnect was there all the time.
I managed to overcome it with personal asides and huge
numbers of techniques involving body language, facial
expressions, voice, idiom, but always dismissing stories
as unscientific, less than professional, unsuitable to
What a relief, then, when I studied
under a speaking mentor and learned his storytelling
techniques and the power of storytelling, when it is
Since then two things have
I have studied storytelling through
all the means I can lay my hands on. I have
learned its history. I have studied the
neurological processes involved. I have watched
storytellers of all sorts, and speakers using story in
all sorts of ways. And I have found the answer,
the filling, for that aching gap that was there all
through my years of study and speaking.
The second thing is that it seems
society is running parallel with my own transformation.
We are moving away from the focus on science and
scientific proof, perfect professionalism and the use of
statistics and fact. And we are moving to an
understanding of the power of connection through story,
the need to add this to the mix - if we are to have an
audience feel, understand and remember a message.
It really is a beautifully
powerful, authentic way to connect with an audience, to
gain their attention and engagement and to take them
with you into your message ... into your "story".
And what I want for you, is the
same transformation that I had when I studied
storytelling with my own mentor. Maybe you don't
have as far to go or as much to learn as I did.
But what I want to give you is the blueprint for
storytelling that will make it easy for you to use it
time and again whenever you speak. Too many people are
making too many mistakes when they use storytelling, and
they water down the wonderful impact the stories could
have on their communication, their connection and their
message reception. Your story matters. It has the
power to inspire you and to inspire others.
It's time for you to