Anything AI Can Do You Can Do Better (And Seven Ways To Do It)

Stewart Bewley

After breaking my toe with my laptop in a Berlin hotel room, I limped to a coffee shop for breakfast, tenderly got into a taxi, hobbled over some cobblestones to reach my client’s office and then spent the whole day coaching with my shoes off and ice on my foot. When I got home I went straight to the hospital to find out the very sad truth that it was fractured.

As I tell this story I am telling it in my own voice, not one that ChatGPT has given me. I can see the whole thing playing out in front of me—from the moment of the laptop descending on my toe to the moment I got the X-ray back to show the fracture. I am hearing how I think I sound and painting a picture.

I was in Berlin because I was working with Nnamu—a super cool AI company. I was amazed at what AI can do. In this case it really is better than most human beings on negotiating skills, but what it can NEVER do is replace your unique voice, your intonation and the way you tell stories.

Humans communicate 55% with body language, 38% with tonality and only 7% with pure text. So what if we were to use that to our advantage? If AI can write a better email, proposal, or negotiation, why don't we focus on the other 93% of storytelling?

Here are seven ways to help you always be better than AI when it comes to storytelling:

01. Write the story before the slides

Most people write the slides, then try to fit the text in. If you do this you will lose the story. And—as Stanford University tell us—a story is 22 times more memorable than a fact. You need to fight for story before slides.

02. Imagine you are speaking to a global audience where English is the fifth language

This means you won’t use corporate language—words like ‘stakeholder’—that are just too complex for a non-native English speaker to understand. Those words do carry meaning, so if they need to be used make sure you paint a picture of what they actually mean.

03. Move line five to line one—always

When you prepare your presentation, speak out loud the first 30 seconds. I can almost 100% guarantee that the last sentence you speak will be the first one you need to use. I call this Line Five to Line One.  We bury our exciting headlines and we need to have them front and centre.

04. Never assume the audience is following you

Don’t let their lack of energy slow you down or get you down. You need to be the standard setter. Don’t go down to their level: invite them up to yours. Lead them with your sentences and tone.

05. Use picture to make sure you don’t lose touch with your content

The success of your presentation lives or dies on every sentence. You want as few deaths as possible and as many wins. To do that, speak in short sentences. Every time you start a new one it is like a reset. If you speak in enough jargon/corporate language with people who also understand jargon/corporate language you will stop speaking in picture. Very slowly, like boiling a frog, you will kill your presentation and lose touch with what you are trying to say. Don’t let it escape you—you can control your content. Use picture wherever you can. It stops the water boiling.

06. Smize

The eyes have it when it comes to connection. I have never seen America’s Next Top Model, but I hear (thank you Gemma Hunt) that Tyra Banks talks a lot about ‘smizing’—smiling with your eyes. This is brilliant. Try it!

07. Be enthusiastic

Thirty-eight percent of our communication is tone of voice—so be enthusiastic. Never underestimate the power of enthusiasm.

Do these seven things and you will keep the humanity in your voice—and that is something AI can’t do. It can’t actually be you. It can’t smize for you, it can’t think for you, it can’t improvise for you.

Stewart Bewley

Stewart founded Amplify back in 2011 from an acting background, believing that if you unlocked people’s voices you would unlock their story and their businesses would thrive.

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