Sharpening Art of Business Storytelling: Event Participation at Business Storytelling Festival ‘Shareathon 2018’

Date: 24.03.2018
Organized by: Institute of Product Leadership, Bangalore

Storytelling has evolved in recent years into a skill. I have been practicing personal storytelling and business storytelling both at personal and professional level. As a freelance writer, I honed my skills in writing, and I intend to improve my public storytelling skills. So, when I came across this event, I immediately signed up and got opportunity to learn from others.

First part of the day was a workshop/presentation by Shaleel Nalakath on Executive presence. By definition, it is the ability of the people to listen to you. We like to listen to some of the people and others not. The secret lies in presenting yourself to the larger audience.

Mr. Nalakath, gave ideas about Gravitas, Appearance, and Communication. In which, earlier 2 are well defined and 3rd one needs a work. Communication is a way you are able to articular your ideas and win people’s mind. He talked about voice modulation, speed of presentation, pitch and some other ideas of public speaking.

He then turned over to body language. He gave some ideas and we also did some exercises of hand gesture, pronunciations.

It was wonderful to know, how much people prepare before appearing in front of the public. I learn some points towards improvement.

2nd Part
Prof. Rakesh Godhwani from Indian Institute of Management Bangalore gave a talk about art of communication skills. He took his story of being engineer to a professor and gave 4 points essential of any story:
– Objective
– Images and words
– Complications
– Resolutions

He highlighted trust, sensible logic, and incorporation of emotions are essential for every part of the communication.

Presentations
Presentation by storytellers and how they were judged by the jury, the audience also give them stars through missed call on a particular number. Storytellers were:
Tarun Agarwala, Radhika Garimella, Balaji Rajagopalan, Yogesh K. Patdor, Rajkumar Pahari, D Keerti Kiran Skand, Sandeep Rajan, Nardner Sajnani, Vishal Jain, Ajay Joshi, Karthi Subbaraman

Few things, I learn from their presentations along with feedback:

– Connect more with the audience, over excitement with your idea may affect your presentation skills.
– In 7-8 minute presentation, it is better to focus on one story. Changing the topic frequently may distract the audience from grasping the content.
– When you are on the stage, you are like a star of your own story. So, don’t allow disturbances like mike malfunctioning to take your confidence.
– If theme of story allows, then enactment on the stage can be a good idea.
– Too much walking on the stage must be avoided.
– If you want to give your own view of the world on a very general scenario, add some facts to prove your point.
-You may know a lot about the topic, but audience may not know that much. So be simple, connect with audience, and don’t expect the audience to know everything.

Overall, I have picked up following few things towards improvement in my own style of Business Storytelling.

– Simplicity is the best way to define difficult idea to a larger audience. I think, I can use my journalism experience to sharpen this aspect.
– Start writing journals of our own stories, and refine them over a period of time and use them whenever it is necessary. It is a lot of work, but it helps.
– Practice public speaking more often using mirror, recording your voice, or getting help from your friends.

Business Storytelling Festival was a great event to participate. I hope to participate with my own story in future.
More information:
Event link: https://www.facebook.com/events/208534559899232/
https://www.productleadership.com/shareathon-2018-celebrating-business-storytelling/

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