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Friday, February 6, 2015

How to Tell A Story

I am working on a few different presentations that will be delivered both in person and via webcasts. Besides the planning of the content, slides, and handouts, I have also been working on improving my presentation skills.

Now I know that I am a better than average presenter, but that doesn't mean I do not have room for improvement.  We all have room for improvement in everything we do.

But specifically when it comes to improving my presentation skills, one of my favorite training exercises for preparing to present, is to watch TED talks.

In case you don't know about TED talks, click here for their about page.  From that page:
TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less). TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics — from science to business to global issues — in more than 100 languages. Meanwhile, independently run TEDx events help share ideas in communities around the world.
Now, I tend to watch a wide range of talks, by people from every discipline, so that I can see a wide range of presentations styles.  In order to make it onto the TED talks site, you had to have done a good job; so watching these 18 minute or less talks, that have already been deemed worthy, is a very efficient use of my personal training time.

Now, most of you out there are not doing as many talks a year as I am, but every single one of you is talking to patrons about books.  In fact, as we are hand-selling titles to readers, we are telling them a story. It's a story about a book and why that book would be a nice match for their current reading needs.

Well guess what, TED has many talks about books and reading, but in particular, they have a play list entitled "How to Tell a Story." It features a variety of authors and storytellers sharing their secrets.

All of you work with leisure readers. All of you would benefit from watching these 6 videos.  Our work is intertwined with stories and with storytellers.  We work with readers, we decipher the appeal of authors and titles, we tell a small story each time we talk about books to a specific reader...we all could use a refresher on how to tell a story. Stories are all we do-- all the time!

If this playlist is not your cup of tea, however, please use the search box to find more options.  A search for "books" brings up quite a few options.

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