Tuesday teaching tip: Become a Masterful Storyteller

Today’s teaching tip is from the book Talk Like Ted. I’m taking a group of leaders through this informative book that is based on the top TED Talks. There are 9 characteristics of people who are excellent at public speaking (that’s what you do as you teach your Bible study group). The first tip in the book is “master the art of storytelling.”

Tell stories to reach people’s hearts and minds. Bryan Stevenson, the speaker who earned the longest standing ovation in TED history, spent 65 percent of his presentation telling stories. Brain scans reveal that stories stimulate and engage the human brain, helping the speaker connect with the audience and making it more likely that the audience will agree with the speaker’s point of view…You have to get folks to trust you…storytelling is the ultimate tool of persuasion…part of the solution to winning people over to your argument is to tell more stories…stories are just data with a soul (pp.44-51).

The author goes on to point out the three kinds of stories that catch people’s attention and their hearts:

  1. Personal stories – Take the audience on a journey. Make it rich and descriptive.
  2. Stories about other people – Help people connect with your point by sharing stories of people with whom they can empathize. Help them put themselves in the shoes of others.
  3. Stories about brand success – The author says, “When I give a keynote presentation I tell stories, stories about other individuals whom I know personally, have interviewed, or have read about, and stories of  brands that have successfully leveraged the business strategy I’m talking about” (p.59).

So what kinds of stories might you tell this week in your Bible study group? Will they be personal? Or will they be focused on someone else? Or will they be the stories you allow your group members to tell about themselves?

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