Storytelling is hot! And storytelling is cool! And it can be very effective, however there is a risk: you can lose yourself in the gimmick!
This week, I had the privilege to prepare a group of speakers for their client event. Instead of the usual 'Best Practise Presentations' they decided to offer their content in a simulated 'Awards Ceremony'. The concept was very creative, with setting the scene by a Gala-host, telling the audience all about the award & the criteria, a real '...and the winner is....' and then of course the very emotional speech of the award-winners - in which they stated what they had done to win the award (i.e. the best practise story).
During the preparation, new ideas arose... "let's have music", "let's add applause". "What if we start with a 'backstage' scene where they discuss the difficulties?" And the further they got, the more briljant the ceremony became, however... They started to lose eye of the goal. The story became too complex for the audience to grasp. The goal is 'the million dollar phrase':
"What do you want your audience to think, feel and say when they leave after your speech?"
When having creative ideas, always link back to your goal. What is it I am doing here today? What is the change I want to make in the heads and hearts of my audience? And how can I influence them most effectively.
Because people don't remember everything you told them, they will get a feeling, and they will take that feeling home with them.
Storytelling and creative gimmicks can be very entertaining, however, people do not come for your entertainment, they come for you message. So chose wisely!