Truth is stranger than fiction. Fiction, after all, has to make sense.” – Mark Twain

Strange reality

People meet, incidents occur, without anyone ever having done anything intentionally for this to happen. Reality just happens.

Still, as humans we can’t help but look for motives and reasons. When someone tells us a story, we intuitively ask: “Why did he do this?” or “What is she up to?” – even when there is no meaningful answer to that at all.

What someone tells us must make sense. Even if reality doesn’t.

The challenge with speaking is this: to make a meaningful story out of a strange reality. Speeches are about reality but they are themselves narratives. Even if the source material is strange, the presentation about it must make sense.

What’s worse: Each listener has her own idea of what makes sense and each member of your audience looks for reasons and motives that fit his or her worldview.

Therefore, as a speaker we have to tell not only a story that makes sense and is truthful but one that makes sense from our audience’s perspective.

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Dr. Michael Gerharz

Dr. Michael Gerharz

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