One big secret to reducing public speaking fear is to get into a story or example from (from your own personal experience) as soon as possible. Why do stories work so well? An article in Training and Development Magazine titled Leadership Through Storytelling, tells us that “People like to hear stories and they tend to repeat them. In business as well as in other settings, storytelling works as a useful technique to
Our audience relates to storytelling because when we hear a story, we tend to relate the story to something from our own personal experience. For instance, if I told you about a friend of mine who was killed in a drunk driving accident, your subconscious mind tries to relate the story to a personal experience of your own. So, you may subconsciously search through stored memories to find a similar incident from your own life. You might remember a time when you had a little too much to drink, a time when someone you knew did, or a time when you saw a film in high school about drunk driving. This process builds credibility because our own memories verify the truth of the original story and it also builds rapport between the audience and the speaker like magic.
If you want to dazzle your audience, tell more personal stories.
So how do we find suitable personal stories? All we have to do is ask ourselves a series of questions such as, “When did I first realize that the point that I am trying to make in my talk was valid?” or “When was the last time I took this advice myself?”