Most speakers start their stories and hope their audiences will come along on those journeys. That’s average. World Class Speakers don’t do that. Instead, they make their audiences curious so that they want to come along. So here is the secret: it’s what you do before your story that really matters.
For example, before one of my stories, I say the following:
“What do you think is the number one thing that stands between most people living their dreams?” The audience yells out various responses. Then, in a friendly / humorous way I say, “Those are all great answers and if you listen closely they all have the same thing in common. They’re all wrong.” The audience laughs. Then I say, “No, they’re not wrong. They’re just not the number one thing in my opinion that gets in the way. The number one thing is not what you think.”
What do you think the audience is thinking at that point? Right, they are thinking, “Okay, what is the number one thing?” And that is the key to curiosity. You have to get them to ask themselves a question and let them know the answer is coming up in the story.
Tap, Tease, and Transport
This is what I call the Tap, Tease, and Transport method. It is a three step process which includes:
1. Tapping into your audiences’ mind with a question
2. Teasing them to want to know more
3. Transporting them into your story
The Method in Action
I tapped into their mind by asking, “What do you think is the number one thing that stands between most people living their dreams?” That was the tap. I got them thinking about themselves!
Then, I told them, “Your answers are wrong. The number one thing is not what you think.” That’s the tease. Now they know they’ll find the number one thing inside my story so they are amped up to come along. Why? It is because they know they are going to be given a point that will help them reach their goals.
Finally, I transport them into my story in stealth fashion. What I mean by that is you should never say, “Well, listen to my story” or “Now I’m going to tell you a story” or anything like that. Instead, sneak into your story. Get them into your story before they realize you’re going to tell a story. Once you say something like, “I’m going to tell you a story,” many audience members put down their pens and let their minds wander elsewhere. Instead, sneak them into it.
For your next story, try this 3-step method out. When you use the tap, tease, and transport method, you’ll look up and see you have everyone’s undivided attention as they join you on your journey. Tap, Tease, and Transport.
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Craig Valentine is the author of two books entitled World Class Speaking and The Nuts and Bolts of Public Speaking. He is the 1999 World Champion of Public Speaking and an internationally-known professional speaker. To get your FREE Masterful Speaking Toolkit, visit http://www.craigvalentine.com