How to tell stories

How the Narrative Structure work in speeches and how they may be used in speech structure.
Everybody likes stories. They coolly involve and help to lay out complicated processes into understandable examples.

The Narrative Structure — what is it?

All structures consist of objects and relations among them. A peculiarity of the narrative structure is a story that is a connecting link.

In each story there are four basic stages:

1) Exposure (context)
2) Beginning of the plot (the barrier)
3) Climax (drama)
4) Denouement (the outcome)

For example:

Last month we became contractors in a state order: we were to think of a design for the site (1) of a state corporation. We received a technical task and started working at once. But in the process, it became clear that we weren't on budget (2). We had to put out fires and exhaust ourselves at work to manage to do everything in time, making the liest efforts. The principal designer even had a nervous breakdown (3). At the end of the project everybody got extremely tired, but the target was achieved (4).

How do you use stories in a speech?

Tell the listeners a story sequentially, where the narrative structure will be connected with the speech content from the beginning to the end

For example, you may include a character and explain the processes and difficulties with the help of his adventures and sufferings:

To show the problem of systematic late arrivals with the help of collaborator Bobbie, who continuously forgot about the conferences and could not do his work effectively.
In the end he spoiled his relationships with the team and became dispensable.

To start and to finish the speech with a story

The essence is: at the start we tell the audience a story and attract the audience's attention. Then we explain the key message of the speech (main theme) and complete the speech with a story.

For example, you may visually compare different approaches in that way: at the start you may describe the scenario without the product, then explain the essence of the offer and finish with a successful scenario (already with the product, undoubtedly).

To break a story

The essence: it's not obligatory to tell a story up to the end. You may begin with it, then make a pause and introduce another content (to summarize the conclusions and problems). Then at that moment, where it works best of all, you may continue the story from the place where you stopped.

For example, you may use the principle of rewinding: to rewind the events of the story till the moment that we want to highlight.

Our character Pete was late for the conference again and he is reading the negative responses in chats from his colleagues. Now let's rewind to that moment, by which he had planned that meeting.

An important point:

The longer the speech is, the more dramatic moments and micro-stories there are.

Let us know if you face any challenges while getting ready for your speech.

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