My strong suit has never been holding an audience’s attention. When I recount stories, I too often get lost in the details and forget the direction that I was intending to go with them. As a result, I have become all too familiar with the awkward moments that follow “wait, what were we talking about?” and “….that’s the end.” My loved ones have reluctantly accepted that my long, drawn-out narrations are just a thorn in the rose of our friendship. In fact, among some of my friends, my inability to effectively tell stories has become a joke, and they have mockingly embraced this attribute of mine by encouraging me and an equally flawed orator friend of ours to film and share our rambling, misdirected conversations.
Little do they know that I am brushing up on my speaking skills, and that by the time they set up a camera, I will be an expert storyteller, and the entire premise of their show will be negated! This November, I will be focusing on improving my ability to give compelling speeches, tell fascinating stories, and articulate exactly what I mean to. Our words of the week will be powerful verbs and adjectives that will enhance our effectiveness as speakers. We will play games that let us practice verbal skills. Every few days, we’ll direct our efforts on one new aspect of being a good story teller and test our results out in the field. With the help of some of the best speakers and story-tellers in the business, I will kick my old habits and pick up some effective new ones.