I have some very good news! For this week only, all our resources at Proverbs 31 Ministries are 31% off. That means that if you have been waiting to buy Made to Stick, Communicating for a Change or The Reason We Speakyou can get them for less this week. Woot! Love a bargain.
I shared last week about stories and how we need to be on the sharp look out in our own lives for stories for our messages. As my friend Karen Ehman says, there are 2 great reasons to have your own stories in your talk. Your own messages will mean the most to you, and you will be able to tell them in a more compelling way. The second reason is very important. If it’s your own story, nobody else will tell it. Karen tells about being at a conference where a speaker was puzzled about the cold response that her funny opening story got. It turned out that the previous speaker had ended with that very story, so the audience was unimpressed with hearing it a second time. Ooops!
Chip and Dan Heath give 3 basic stories that stick with people. (It’s interesting to note that although this is a “secular” book, I think these guys are Christians. Many of their story examples come from the Bible.)
- The Challenge Plot–The example given of this type of story is David and Goliath. It’s the story of the over-comer, the underdog or rags-to-riches.
- The Connection Plot–This story is exemplified in the story of the Good Samaritan. “It’s a story about people who develop a relationship that bridges a gap–racial, class, ethnic, religious, demographic, or otherwise,” say the Heath brothers. My current favorite story that falls in this category is Same Kind of Different as Me.
- The Creativity Plot–In this type of story, a person uses special ingenuity or creativity to solve a long-standing problem. The Heath brothers cite McGyver or the apple falling on Newton’s head as examples of a creativity story.
So be on the lookout for great stories!
This is the end of our “Making Your Messages Stick” series. I’ve begun using the six principles laid out in Made to Stick as a kind of checklist for my messages. Every message won’t contain all six, but it should contain quite a few in the list. I’m typically an “in the box” kind of girl, but this checklist is jolting me out of the box. I hope it will enliven your messages, too. For continuing information on these topics, check out the Heath brother’s blog.