TEDx Talk

281: How to be Memorable On Stage Series – Part 3: STORIES

Hey, Movers!

Last week we talked about the BEFORE moment – and how critical it is for helping us keep our audience’s engagement… 

And today we’re talking about the magical memory power of STORIES. If you want to be memorable on stage – these are must-knows, and must-do’s..

Links & Resources


Inspiration They're not going to remember everything, but with stories, they're not going to forget you




There is one thing that we can do in particular, as speakers that works like magic to become more memorable. And that is story. Hey, movers Sally Z with BeMoved.

Let’s go create some talks that will move this world. We’re going to talk with amazing speakers share tips, tricks, resources. And we are going to BeMoved so that our audience can BeMoved

This Moved Me, what is moving you?

Because this is a part of a series, if you’re like, what happened before I’m feeling a little lost. So part one was an overview of what we’re gonna be talking about. Part Two was all about the before moment. So, so important. And today is all about stories, stories, stories, stories. And as we talk about becoming memorable, really what’s underneath it is this focus on connection, this connection that we create with our audiences, when we create that connection, they remember us has really very little to do with the skills and expertise. Now, skills and expertise are a huge asset. And they can make everything better if you just have skills. But no connection. It doesn’t really matter. People are like, That was nice, thank you so much for your expertise. But connection. Connection allows us to show up in a more powerful, more human way. And when we recognize that humaneness in each other, that is where connection comes from, and then something magical happens, and they will not forget, okay, they’re not gonna remember everything, but they will not forget you. So a few years ago, we were at a conference and we were listening to the incredible Carmen Simon speak about memory and presentations. Now Carmen is the pro on this. She’s built her whole career on how to build content that people remember. So in a sort of meta moment, what I want to share with you is what I remember about Carmen’s awesome talk about remembering talks. Okay, so what I can tell you is that I remember that her visuals just were stunning. The general impression I got was that she is such a pro. Her she’s so elegant, I was impressed. That was the general feeling that was like, I’m so impressed with her. She’s amazing. And importantly, I remember this moment that happened between her and one of the audience members. So she went out in an effort to really illustrate how our brains work, and how memory how we can create memories with our audience. She asked this audience member jen to talk about when she had met her husband. So Jen shared that story. And we were all sitting there listening. Carmen asked her a few questions about it. And then Carmen moved on to some other points that she was making in her talk. And then she came back to the audience and asked about Jen story, what did we remember about Jen’s story? And people picked out all kinds of details was really interesting. Like men remembering what color shirt she was wearing, or remembering kind of what the scene looked like. It was very sensory, some sensory things. And Carmen was making the point that we are truly wired for story. Our brains are wired for story, they soak up stories particularly well. What I can tell you is that Jen husband’s Mike was wearing a green shirt. He was leaning up against some kind of fence like I haven’t I have an image in my head of Jen and Mike. They were outside. And I remember her feeling about it. I remember that the joy that she talked about, that she used as she talked about this experience with Mike. And when we feel we remember, which is why stories are so so powerful because embedded in stories are feeling embedded in stories are those aha moments, if you have a story to tell there is an aha moment in there for you. Sometimes it takes us a while to figure out what that is, but it is in there. So what I want to share with you in our training today are three times, in particular when you really need to use stories. Number one is at the very beginning. And we talked about this. That’s why we’re building on last week, the before moment, we don’t want to chit chat. We didn’t want to drop right into the story. Most of the time we lose our audience. With the chit chat. We nixed the chit chat, we dropped right into the story. So we’re gonna use the story at the beginning, then we’re going to use stories before we make our point. So I am a story first believer.

And there’s, there’s reason for that. I’m going to talk about that in a moment. So we use it at the beginning. We use it before we make our point. And then we can use stories really strategically, when you’re feeling the audience get antsy. When you’re feeling like Oh, I got to pull them back in, drop right into a story that will naturally people become curious, especially when we are good storytellers. When we know how to use stories, well, it will really pull in and engage people. So stories are the most powerful tool that we have, as speakers and leaders. So three times beginning before you want to make a point story first, and when you want to engage or pull people back in. So why is it so powerful that we use stories, because of all the reasons that I’ve talked about with Carmen and Jen talking about how our brains are so wired and primed for stories, is because as a speaker, when we show up in that moment, and we start sharing stories, what happens in the audience’s imagination is exactly what happened with me. And listening to Jen talk about that moment with her husband, I start to create an image in my head, I can envision it. Now I don’t know exactly what it was like for Jen. But I know what it was like in my mind for Jen. And that is my co creation with Jen about that moment. So it connects us It literally connects us through that doesn’t matter. Really, if mine’s very accurate, I’m imagining it in my head. And what I’m probably doing is layering my own experiences my own understanding my own beliefs about things in that story. And so there’s buy in that comes with that it’s crazy, crazy powerful. And stories engage, they pull people into an idea, before they have a chance to judge it, which is why we do stories first.

If you talk about if you make your point before you tell your story, and you start talking about it before you tell your story, what happens is people go, I don’t agree with that, or I’m not sure about that. And they start analyzing it. poking holes in it, it’s very natural for people to have a conversation with you in their head, about your points and the points that you’re trying to make. But when you start with story, it holds that off for people. Because stories work naturally, we are curious people and so we’re pulled in and if we can tell a story that resonates with something universal within people, they are they see beyond those initial criticisms or skepticism or even outright judgment or disagreement. stories can move us past those divisions. And so we feel before we think and when we feel we remember. So feeling helps pull people in and say I felt something resonant there. And now when you tee up your point, it’s going to stick with me more. Okay, that’s how powerful they are. I want to share with you three really simple tips for how to make your stories more memorable. Using stories will help with you becoming more memorable as a speaker below meta memorable, we’re going to become more memorable by sharing memorable stories of a lot of memorable Alright, so number one, we’re going to use details that help us imagine and visualize. We want our audiences to visualize what’s happening. The trick is not using so many details that people get lost in it or that we take them down the wrong path, want to make sure that we are walking people right to the point that we want to make. But in that walking, we want to make sure that the image is clear in their heads. And we are creating the kind of feeling that we want to create. So use details that help us imagine and visualize. The second thing I want you to do is I want you to use dialogue at some point in your story. simply putting words in somebody’s mouth makes that story feel alive. And not like it happened a long time ago, not like we it’s operating way up here. And we want it to feel like it is happening in the now. So we do that by using dialogue. The third thing that you can do to make your stories more memorable, is to use a present tense in your stories. Not always not the whole time. But there’s going to be moments where you use it as present tense, just like how you use dialogue in the present tense. And using present tense versus past tense at certain moments in your story makes it feel like it’s happening now. And that helps us imagine it helps us feel like we are with you in that moment. And as soon as I feel I remember. So it’s a trick to help people engage in the story and feel with you in that. And it keeps it close and not distant use stories. They are fuel for not just a powerful talk, not just an entertaining talk, but a memorable talk. Alright, so I have time for some questions. If you have any of you are here. I will take your questions. People always have a lot of questions especially about that past present tense


Sally Z

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