The Importance of Storytelling in Public Speaking
Published on 03.19.2021
Tyrion Lannister, a storyteller, once said, “There’s nothing in the world more powerful than a good story.” As humans, storytelling is part of our genes going back to prehistoric times. As nature storytellers, it seems obvious this would go hand-in-hand with public speaking. However, a stigma has surrounded this practice and the importance it plays in public speaking. While some think storytelling should be saved for the frilles of bed-time routines, the coaches at Winning Feathers understand just how important this skill is.
With a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Arts, Winning Feather’s coach Sarah Udell has devoted her life to empowering others and bringing diverse groups of people together. Sarah believes that communication is at the core of connection and success.
“When someone hears ‘storytelling’ they often think of childish fairy tales. When I hear ‘storytelling,’ I think of creativity, teaching, expression, ideas, connection and illustration. Storytelling is being able to express one’s ideas and draw connections between those ideas and situations.”
Storytelling is a crucial skill to have across all career paths. In regards to public speaking, it couldn’t be more important. Taylor Ventura, the head coach at Winning Feathers, has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at San Antonio in Theology and International Relations and has been working with children for over four years. She is a strong believer in the power of storytelling and the skills that can be gained through this practice.
“A story comes from the heart and therefore is meant to lift the child out of their comfort zone more than a factual presentation might. Level One [of Winning Feather’s Public Speaking curriculum] is all about getting them out of the comfort zone and comfortable with the basic delivery methods of Public Speaking so they can learn to love it and master it.”
Storytelling draws your audience into your speech by emotionally connecting your shared experiences. Stories make even the most outrageous personable. Kyley Landwerlen is a speech communication specialist and adjunct professor of public speaking as well as another great Winning Feathers coach. Kyley knows just how much a good story can connect the speaker to their audience.
“The best way for a speaker to be relatable to their audience is through storytelling. Those who incorporate storytelling grasp the hearts of listeners and those who do not leave the audience feeling less impacted and less changed.”
Not only does storytelling bring your audience into your speech, but retelling a story is far easier than memorizing a script.
With her administrator’s certification for K-12 education, and while finishing her Phd in Educational Leadership, Winning Feathers coach Briana Burress knows the importance of empowering students to be leaders of tomorrow and is invested in their success. Briana appreciates a good story, but beyond that knows how much storytelling can help the speaker stay calm and focused.
“Storytelling helps with public speaking by helping students establish the foundations of making their points and stick with the point of their stories and providing confidence when telling their stories.”
While storytelling helps the speaker, it is also a great method to keep your audience engaged and listening. When you switch from giving a presentation to telling a story, you aren’t just giving a talk, you are giving an experience. Winning Feathers’ highly educated coach Christine Sanchez is currently a medical student at UIW School of Osteopathic Medicine in San Antonio with an extensive research background spanning about eight years. Coach Christina loves a good story as she believes it adds the perfect element to keep listeners engaged.
“The children that use storytelling give their speeches ‘razzledazzle’. . . . This ‘razzledazzle’ is used to relate to the audience, or to make their speech more understandable. It gives their speech a little something extra.”
Great storytellers make even the most mundane experiences captivating. Therefore it is easy to believe you do not have a story worth sharing. However when you break it down, stories are just something that happened to someone. Winning Feathers’ Coach Helen holds a bachelor’s degree in political science, has a graduate certification in social science, and is pursuing a Master of Education with a social studies concentration. Coach Helen loves encouraging children to strive for the best and knows the value of a good story.
“Storytelling allows the speaker to bring their information to life . . . It’s about using stories to engage the audience, and to help make a concept clear and relatable, and is also a form of human expression.”
After adding your personal touch, listeners will be bewitched by everything you have to offer. Courses like the ones offered by Winning Feathers teaches your child how to tell their story and learn the art of public speaking. Their coaches are ready and excited to encourage your kids to be their best and aim for happiness and success. Your child will have personalized care and attention to make sure they learn the skills needed to thrive.
By Alison Hartzler
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