Inspirational Stories Communicate!
Practice with the Daytona 500 Surprise Winn
As a speech coach, I talk to my clients about the value of illustrating points they are trying to make by incorporating stories and real life examples into their presentations. I encourage them to use the 3N method for collecting those stories:
NOTICE, NOTE and NARRATE.
NOTICE - Keep your eyes and ears open
for stories and everyday experiences that
spark your interest and teach you
NOTE - write them down in a journal -
capture them somewhere so that you can develop and fine-tune them. Look for
how the story might be applied to the
world of work. Is there a business lesson imbedded in the story. Can it help you
illustrate a point you are trying to make?
NARRATE - Tell the stories, practice
delivering them out loud and see how
you can continue to hone.
Here is a practice opportunity:
On Saturday, February 19, 2011 NASCAR newcomer Trevor Bayne won the 53rd Daytona 500 in double overtime. I do not follow racing but when I heard this story I wanted to know more. Here are some self-selected highlights:
- Trevor just turned 20
- Trevor has only been able to drive legally for 4 years
- Trevor became the race's youngest winner
- This was only Trevor's second NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race
- The race experienced a 14 car crash (that included the race's most experienced drivers) and a record number of lead changes and caution periods
- Team Owner - Wood Brother's first win since 1979
- Preparing for the race he asked himself, "What do I need to do to not let the mountains get too high, and just stay focused?"
- Trevor donated part of of his winnings to an orphanage in Mexico.
- On this race day NASCAR marked the 10th anniversary of the death of its fallen hero, Dale Earnhardt, and it appears that a totally unexpected new hero emerged.
- Bayne has exhibited great humility and gratitude and has conducted himself in a down-to-earth manner.
- Bayne said. "One thing I haven't really talked about is keeping our expectations realistic here.We won this race and that sets the bar high, but if we would have finished 15th we would have been happy."
These are a few elements I jotted down after googling Bayne and the race story. The next step in the process is to begin pondering what the real-world lessons might be unearthed through this story.
To discover them, consider asking questions like:
- Was inexperience an asset?
- How can experience get in the way of success?
- What discoveries where made by the drivers - were there lessons learned?
- What can be learned from the way this unexpected hero conducted himself before and after the win?
- Despite a lack of wins, what does this story say about the tenacity of the team owners who pursued yet another opportunity to race with a beginner?
There are likely many elements of the story that can be mined and more points that can be made.
Practice incorporating story into your business presentation with this news story - see what you can develop. Create an opportunity in the next 48 hours to use it.
NOTICE, NOTE and NARRATE - This process will help make your presentations memorable.