Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Overhaul to Executive Speaker Training Workshop

I've just posted a major overhaul to the website for the "Ancient Secret of Public Speaking" workshop at http://www.executivespeakertraining.com . Please come take a look. I am still building and tweaking, but I think the new format is much nicer and more user friendly. Come join us in Arizona sometime.

The official blog for K. Sean Buvala, storyteller and storytelling coach.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Expert Hails Disney’s New Movie "Bedtime Stories" for featuring the Number One Success Skill for Parents to Presidents.

For Immediate Release

Avondale, AZ- "Telling stories, that is using imagination and seeing situations from new perspectives, is the number one success skill for anyone, from parents to presidents," says K. Sean Buvala, the executive director of Storyteller.net and a national speaking coach for companies and their employees.

"Disney’s new movie ’Bedtime Stories’ of course illustrates the power of storytelling to and with children, but many folks also can learn to use storytelling as their primary tool for expressing the dreams, goals and successes of their business life. The essential concepts used for sharing storytelling with children come into play in any business situation. In the end, the only thing that causes one business to stand out over their competitors is their company story."

Buvala, a veteran of 23 years of professional storytelling, offers five quick tips for any parent who wants to tell stories for and with their child:

1. Learn to accept and use your skills as they are.

In the minds of your children, every story you tell is perfect. So, relax, slow down and think about what happens. Every story needs a beginning, a middle and an end. Once you think of those parts, just let the picture unfold in your mind and speak it to your child. Put down the "professional" story books and tell stories from your own experiences and memories.

2. Let your children add to the story as you go along.

Just like in the movie, if your child wants to add raining gumdrops, space creatures or fire balls, take those items and let them grow in your story. That way, you teach your child to use their imagination and that their contributions to a conversation are valuable. Don’t be too quick to correct for the "right" way to have a story progress.

3. Look your children in the eye.

Buvala says, "I’ve trained parents to tell stories to their children and CEO’s to tell the narrative of their company to board members. In all cases, looking sincerely at your audience expresses interest, increases bonding and grows credibility. Give your children a gift and look at them when you tell stories."

4. Use a variety in your words, not just baby-talk.

Children, from tots to teens, best learn language by hearing it used in conversation. Avoid the temptation to use baby talk with your children. Children grow to be adults so speak like an adult, varying words as you speak. For example, instead of "fast" you might say "quickly" or "rapidly," pausing to briefly define words as you go, if needed. In many cases, children get the meaning of words from the context of your story.

5. Start communicating with your teens before they are teens.

One of the most powerful ways to communicate with teens is by laying the groundwork for conversation while they are young. Storytelling by parents teaches young children that they are important enough to be the center of attention for a few moments during each story. Storytelling also teaches children the power of words, the ebb and flow of conversation and sequencing their thoughts, tools any teenager should have.

Buvala also states these same rules apply to storytelling in business. "Everyone starts where they are with their skills. In today’s market, customers respond better to genuine sharing instead of polished advertising. Also, our business stories are ongoing and when customers can add to the story via social networking, focus groups, feedback forms and so on, they take greater ownership. Being genuinely interested in our customers’ experiences and communicating face-to-face whenever possible is always a chance for growth. Finally, it’s important from the beginning that our corporate approach be one that treats our customers with respect, never talking down to them, explaining things as needed, making a focus on customer needs."

Buvala teaches a multi-day workshop for anyone who wants to learn to use storytelling for business, sales, non-profit or family use. For more information, please visit the website of "Ancient Secret of Public Speaking Workshop" at executivespeakertraining.com.

K. Sean Buvala
PO Box 392
Tolleson, AZ 85353

parenting , business coaching , storytelling , movie , disney , bedtime stories , family , public speaking


***View this press release here:

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Corporate Storytelling: 3 Tips For the Nervous Public Speaker

Do you remember your first days without the training wheels on your bike? Were you nervous? Were you even a little bit afraid? Did that fear make you hyper-focused? Was there someone holding on to your bike's seat, guiding you and cheering you on?

When it comes to public speaking, do you find yourself nervous and maybe even afraid? Like that first experience on your bike, let me hold on the seat and help you learn.

1. Let Your Nerves Work for You

I am probably right when I say those few moments of being on a bicycle without training wheels were some of the most focused moments in your life. All your senses were ready to learn. Your nerves, in that case, were working for you.

Nerves are not the enemy. I have been presenting public speaking courses for over two decades and I have never found a good speaker who was not nervous about their work. Notice that I wrote "a good speaker." There are plenty of cocky and arrogant public speakers who are "never nervous" but they present without energy or enthusiasm.

What good are nerves and nervousness for the public speaker? Your nerves keep your energy level high and your focus sharp. Speaking with high energy while focused on your presentation benefits your audience. They are getting a speaker who is truly present to the subject they are presenting instead of someone who is spewing out just another average speech. Before going onstage, accept your nerves as part of being human, take several slow deep breaths, smile big and step onto the stage with energy and enthusiasm.

2. Remember: Your Audience Wants You to Succeed.

When you were riding without the training wheels, were your family or friends standing on the sidewalk hoping you would fall off and hurt yourself? Of course they were not hoping that you would fail.

In public speaking, your audience wants to you to be at your best. They do not want you to be boring as that means they will be bored. Your audience wants to see you having fun or deeply in touch with your subject. In the old days, people were told to imagine the audience in their underwear. That was just horrible advice. Your audience is on your side and you are in partnership with them. Remember, you are the expert and you are giving them a valuable presentation. They want to walk out of the event saying, "Great! I can really use what that speaker was talking about."

3. Good Coaching and Training is Invaluable.

When you were a small child, you did not just hop on to your bicycle and hurry down the street. No, you started with training wheels. Then, someone took off those training wheels and ran behind you, holding on to the seat, while you wobbled down the road. Several falls later, more running and wobbling, and then, whoosh you took off down the road.

Coaching and training for public speaking are invaluable ways to get to the whoosh moments of public speaking. We who coach and train public speaking skills are always getting letters of thanks from our clients who successfully used simple techniques taught in public speaking workshops or private coaching. Seek out the experts who can take you to the next level. You will discover that it is an incredible experience to have a speaking coach who can point out areas where you need to improve and support you in your natural skills as a presenter.

Learn to focus your nervous energy to achieve excellence as a speaker.

For more information about Sean's workshop that teaches you to harness the power of business or corporate storytelling, please visit our website at http://www.executivespeakertraining.com You are also invited to follow Sean via his Twitter account at http://www.twitter.com/storyteller today.

The official blog for K. Sean Buvala, storyteller and storytelling coach.