3 Secrets Speakers Use To Add Stories To Their Speeches

by drjim on May 14, 2013

What speech wouldn't be better with a good story?

What speech wouldn’t be better with a good story?Image Credit

Does your next audience really want to hear your speech? I mean really, what are they going to be doing after you are done speaking? You know about the importance of public speaking, but do they? Would they rather just get to that next thing and skip your speech? For many speakers this can be the case (especially if they are speaking just before lunch is to be served). In order to fix this problem, you’re going to have to add some stories to your next speech and that means you’re going to have to discover the 3 secrets of doing that correctly.

The Three Secrets Of Adding Stories To Your Next Speech

Understanding that adding more good stories to your next speech is going to make it a better speech is one thing, actually knowing how to go about doing this is something else. That’s why the following 3 secrets for how to add stories to a speech are so important for you to know.

The first of these secrets is for you to collect stories. You can’t add a story to your speech if you don’t remember it. That’s why you need to commit yourself to listening to everyone that you encounter and observing what goes on in your own life. This is where the best stories come from. Once you find a story that you think that you might be able to use in a speech, you need to find a way to remember it. The best way is to carry a notebook of some sort with you at all times and write it down. However, this is the 21st Century and so it might be more practical to whip out your smart phone and type it in there. Check out the free Evernote application for iPhones and Android phones – it was made for exactly this task.

The second secret is to make sure that any story that you tell is relevant. I am all too aware of getting into a situation where I have a story that I’m just bursting to tell because it’s so funny or because it will provoke a reaction from my audience; however, it has nothing to do with my speech’s main point. Don’t let this happen to you. Make sure that the stories that you add to your next speech have something to do with the topic that you are discussing.

Finally, the third secret is not be afraid to borrow the experiences of others. As speakers we’ve all been told to not plagiarize material and this is a good rule for all of us to follow. However, this doesn’t mean that every story that we tell has to be about something that happened to us. Rather, we can learn from others and use their stories in our speeches. The only thing that we need to be careful about is that the person that we’re telling the story about doesn’t use the same story in one of their speeches. If they do, then we’ve got to stop using it.

What All Of This Means For You

As speakers we are always facing the simple fact that our audience has other things that they could be doing and they may not realize the benefits of public speaking (at least our speaking). If our speech does not both catch and hold their attention, then they’ll quickly start to think about the next thing that they want to do and not about our speech.

In order both capture and hold our audience’s attention, we speakers need to incorporate more stories into our next speech. In order to do this we need to collect stories that are relevant to our audience. We can do this by borrowing the experiences of others.

Long after your speech is over, you want your audience to remember what you said. It’s not the facts and stats that you shared with them that they’ll be able to recall. Instead, it’s the stories that we share with them that really hit home that will create a lasting impression on our audiences. Take the time to add more stories to your next speech!

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Public Speaking Skills™

Question For You: Do you think that there are any dangers of telling stories about other people’s experiences?

Click here to get automatic updates when The Accidental Communicator Blog is updated.
P.S.: Free subscriptions to The Accidental Communicator Newsletter are now available. Subscribe now: Click Here!

Note: What we talked about are advanced speaking skills. If you are just starting out I highly recommend joining Toastmasters in order to get the benefits of public speaking. Look for a Toastmasters club to join in your home town by visiting the web site www.Toastmasters.org. Toastmasters is dedicated to helping their members to understand the importance of public speaking by developing listening skills and getting presentation tips. Toastmasters is how I got started speaking and it can help you also!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

Quick question for you: what’s the difference between a sculptor and a painter? It turns out that the answer is pretty simple: a sculptor creates by removing, a painter creates by adding. A similar difference exists between good and not-so good speech writers. The good ones know to start writing their next speech from the end…

Be Sociable, Share!

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: