How often have you heard a public speaker or presenter dominate a conversation not because the story was so interesting but because the speaker was disorganized? Even the most powerful story will lose impact if it's too long, too detailed, or too circuitous. The inability to tell a story can result in a lack of interest in your listeners and a loss of support for your ideas.
When told well, there is nothing more powerful than a story to touch the hearts and minds of your audience and to influence results. Storytelling is the best presentation technique and that's why stories are told by the top public speakers regardless of industry or job title. The key is to be focused, clear, and crisp. Why do some presenters derail when telling stories? Because they lack structure.
Here is a format to organize your thoughts and tell your story so that's it's clear and compelling. It starts with the word CAR-Challenge, Action, Results.
A good story begins with a set-up. Introduce your listeners to the CHALLENGE at the beginning of the story. Provide context so they understand the situations and the players. Paint a picture but don't get lost in too many details.
Next, Describe the ACTION you took to solve the problem. Focus on the steps you took while in the midst of of the challenge. The action steps should be clear and simple and not buried in data. In a sense, you're giving them a road map of the journey you traveled.
Finally, share the RESULTS. Don't gloss over this section. It's not the time to be modest. Tangible, quantifiable results (money earned, money saved, territory gained), will have the greatest impact. But don't omit intangibles. Qualitative results are important, too. The results section is what creates excitement. Results are your proof points.
This speech writing and storytelling structure can be used in job interviews, sales presentations, or everyday conversations. It will keep you organized, focused and on point. And your listeners will stay engaged and wanting more.
For a free CAR template to craft your story email firstname.lastname@example.org.