When I introduce myself as a speaker at a conference or in a webinar I normally say something like ‘I have the privilege of working alongside L&D leaders and their teams shaping learning strategy and building the capability of L&D teams, helping them to respond to and consolidate shifts.’ I’ll do this using a slide that features my photo, awards and the logos of some of the organisations that I’ve worked with. At least it’s not long!
At Learning Technologies UK conference last week I tried something different – introducing myself and establishing rapport using a connection story. The first challenge was to identify an appropriate story – something that showed the audience that I understood their world, was relatable for them, and relevant to the topic. I wrote a first draft, audio recorded it and sent it to my storytelling coach. Based on his feedback I refined it further.
I was a lot happier with the final version, which I’ve shared below.
The key things I learned were:
- to speak less formally and use plainer language
- include emotion, discussing how I felt, particularly at the turning or key point in the story
- include visual details