Agora Speakers International | Using Anecdotes
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Using Anecdotes

 

Club project Project Analysis

 
Learning Objectives
  • Learning to use anecdotes and personal stories in your speech.
  • Learning the basics of storytelling to create your own stories and anecdotes.
  • Learning how the use of personal stories can create rapport with the audience and convey specific emotions.
Pre-requisites
  • Having completed the previous projects of the Basic Educational Path
Recognition
  • Any project from the “Storytelling” manual of Toastmasters International® - except the first one - is recognized as a substitution for the second part of this project.
Elements
Microphone
Microphone:
May be used
Notes
Notes:
Must not be used
Presentation Software
Presentation Software:
May be used
Lectern
Lectern / Podium:
Must not be used
Time
Part 1
Speech
Light Green 8 min
Light Yellow 9 min
Light Red 10 min
Analysis
Light Green 5 min
Light Yellow 6 min
Light Red 7 min
Part 2
Speech
Light Green 7 min
Light Yellow 8 min
Light Red 9 min
 

Project Outline

 

This is a two-part project, to be done in two meetings (not necessarily consecutive)

  • For the first part, you need to do a Speech Analysis of a selected speech for use of anecdotes and personal stories and its effectiveness.
  • For the second part, you need to prepare and deliver a speech that has at least
    • Two anecdotes
    • A personal story

All stories share similar traits:

  • Characters that the audience can visualize and relate to. It can be you, or it can be someone else.
  • Conflict.  The characters must be confronted to some sort of conflict. Conflict can be external, in which case it can be manifested in many ways ( another person, a company, society, a disease, nature, etc.) or internal ( self-doubt, regret, remorse, loss, etc.). The conflict should either be one that the audience can directly relate to, or it should be a metaphor of one such.
  • The story must track the actions of the character, lead to a climax and provide a resolution of the conflict.Ideally, the way the resolution is achieved is what you’d like your audience to do or to avoid doing. The resolution is not necessarily positive. A bad decision by a character in the climax may result in permanent loss, for example.
  • Characters change as a result of the conflict resolution.The way the character changed is usually the benefit you want to sell the audience (or danger, if the characters changed for the worse).
  • As a result of the above elements, all stories carry a message or moral.

The beginning of the story may be disconnected from the main subject (for example, stopping a fluent speech development and just state “let me tell you a story”), but the ending must flow into the main speech fluently.

 

Personal anecdotes need not really be personal. Unless a story has important factual information ( educational or personal achievement, overcoming a serious disease, etc.), it’s perfectly fine to use an anecdote from someone else (including one you read on the Internet) as if you yourself experienced it.

Make sure that the stories are not clichés. Some stories become so viral and abused that not only everyone knows them, but by being constantly abused by speakers they lose their value. On the other hand, widely known stories make an excellent raw material for humorous speeches if you alter the ending enough to surprise everyone.

The speech should have all the characteristics of the previous projects.  Storytelling should have a supporting and not primary role. If all that the audience can remember from your speech are your stories or anecdotes, then you’ve failed : the main goal is still getting your message across.

Project Description

(In Progress)

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External Resources

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Note: Please always check with the official Agora Speakers International Wiki for the latest versions of the educational projects.

Contributors to this page: sanbec and alexander .
Page last modified on Monday February 13, 2017 17:10:28 CET by sanbec.