The point comes before the story

July 24, 2013

Filed under: Communications — jonathanpoisner @ 11:15 am

Readers of Why Organizations Thrive know that I’m a big believer in nonprofit leaders becoming excellent public speakers and organizations knowing and telling their stories.

When giving a speech, which comes first: developing your point or your story?

I recently stumbled across a blog by Rich Hopkins that convincingly made the point that the point comes first.

Stories are only as valuable as the point they are trying to convey.

When crafting a speech, start with your point and then figure out what stories help illustrate it.  Don’t start with the story.

Hopkins writes:

“…no matter how great your story is, if it doesn’t match the point you’re trying to get across, it’s nothing more than a diversion, and in the worst cases, can completely derail your speech.

Building a speech for the real world means having a real point to share. Granted, it may start with a story you want to tell – surviving abuse, climbing Everest, passing the 400th level of Candy Crush – but ultimately it must have a takeaway point – a spine on which the muscle of your stories can always attach.”

Read Hopkins full blog entry and let me know if you agree or disagree.   

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