So what's the take away? Bert Decker, executive coach and CEO of Decker communications, compiled his yearly list of the best and worst communicators on his blog this week and Mike Huckabee, the Republican victor in Iowa, took top honors. Why? Besides being open and authentic, he peppers his speeches with SHARPs: Stories, Humor, Analogies, References, Pictures. And if you want your speech to connect with a crowd, Decker urges, so should you.
Communication and Speech Coach, Nick Morgan, couldn't agree more, but he takes the focus on stories one step further. In an insightful interview with Management Consulting News, Morgan doesn't just advocate adding anecdotes here and there to spice up your speaking. He asserts, "your whole speech should mirror one of the great stories of our culture. The quest, or journey, is the primary story mode, and then there are four others." He contrasts a story speech with your typical PowerPoint presentation:
The transitions between the slides are awkward--the connections are missing. A speaker will say, "okay this slide is saying X," and will proceed to talk about that slide. Then he/she will switch to the next slide and, after a slight pause, will say, "okay this slide says Y." The speaker who does that is not telling us a story...It may be difficult, but thinking of the totality of your speech as a story (as Obama did with his speech) can help you connect with your audience and perhaps even rouse them to action.