If you deliver presentations on a regular basis, you might be wondering what you can do to be more engaging to your audience.
Should you tell a joke? No — too risky. Add more flair to your PowerPoint? No — too busy. Tell a story? Yes!
Storytelling can be a powerful way to connect with your audience. Of course, you already know great speakers are often great storytellers. So what is the easiest, no-fail way to assure you tell a good story?
Use dialogue. Here are three reasons why dialogue is the critical catalyst to telling a great story.
1. Your delivery will be more dynamic
One of the reasons you should use more dialogue in your presentations is because dialogue helps you be more expressive. You may think that to be taken seriously as a leader, you need to take yourself seriously. You need to show that you “mean business.” But that doesn’t mean you should stiffen up and suppress your natural facial expressions.
Telling a story that includes dialogue helps you get out of this mode of seriousness and naturally stimulates your facial expressions, promoting a more dynamic style. You get to play a role that liberates you from “the suit.” By having natural facial expressions, you become much more engaging and interesting to watch.
2. Dialogue helps you show instead of tell
Another one of the reasons you should add dialogue to your presentations is because dialogue helps you show your audience what you’re talking about.
For example, one of my clients recently said, “Our CEO told us that we wanted to be the best at everything, not just sales.” I coached him to say this instead: “Our CEO said, ‘We don’t just want to be the best at sales. We want to be the best at quality. We want to be the best at service. We want to the best company in the country.’”
Isn’t the second version far more engaging? That’s because the classic adage about writing, “show, don’t tell,” is applicable to speaking as well. So, use dialogue whenever possible.
3. You’ll be more conversational
Finally, you should use dialogue because it helps you speak in a more conversational manner. If you have the tendency to speak in complex sentences, dialogue will give your audience a break. When you use dialogue, you speak in the patterns you use naturally in conversation. In other words, you get out of “speech mode.”
Conversational speakers are far more engaging, so if your complex speaking starts to get stuffy, use dialogue to give your audience a breath of fresh air.
Yes, telling a story can be a great way to engage your audience. But if you tell a story without dialogue, you’re losing a major opportunity to add impact. By adding dialogue to your presentations, you will take your delivery from black-and-white to vivid color.