The art of storytelling is important in all good speeches. Here's why...
Kate Silverton, Speaker Mentor
For Speaker Mentor Kate Silverton storytelling is the bread and butter of her profession.
"As a journalist you are researching, going out on location and reporting back. Essentially you're telling a story", Kate explained to us.
Kate's advice is pick out the most salient points that carry the story: "When you're starting out you're thinking, 'I've got to tell everybody everything otherwise I might miss something out'..." Kate told us.
"It's an instinct that you have, a gut feeling for what that story is really about. It's quite difficult to teach".
The Writer of BBC Three comedy Ideal, Graham Duff thinks the key to a good storyteller is a selfish author.
"If I create a story that I'm interested in, then there's a chance that it'll hold an audience's interest," Graham explained.
"People always say 'write what you know'," Graham told us; "But I think the important thing is to write what you want to know. Write a story that you want to find out how it ends".
Taking an objective look at what you're writing is important in honing your storytelling skills, Graham explained. Writers sometimes latch onto the first idea they have: "But it might not always be the best one".
John Cooper is an Everyday Speaker from Sunderland. As a stand up comic, John's played venues in Edinburgh and London, as well as his adopted home city Manchester.
John's often one of many comedians an audience might watch in one night, so the opening of his set is crucial to winning the audience's trust: "First impressions count for an awful lot. You've got a very small window at the beginning of your set to say to people 'it's OK, I'm funny'...".
"You can't just go on stage and tell a story, not in the comedy arena," said John, "You have to earn your audience's trust - and you do that by making them laugh quickly and frequently".
For John's longer sets, it's important not to bombard the audience with gag after gag: "People get tired, so after the first five or ten minutes you have to have breathing room," John explained.
"That's where the narrative stuff comes in. As long as you're conscious of your rhythm and your beats and your distance between gags... you can let the audience relax and then go back into joke, joke, joke, joke, joke".
John turns to an Eddie Izzard theory to get a balance between structured points and improvisation: "A comic has written material, which are your islands... but how you get from that bit of material, to this bit of material is open water," John explained. "That's the bit that I love".
Define your key narrative points
Win your audience's trust with a strong opening
Write to your own tastes
Structure and pace your story with your audience in mind
Don't fall in love with your first idea
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