The Power Of Being Able To Tell A Really Good Story

A well told story can transform a speech
A well told story can transform a speech
Image Credit: Jim Pennucci

The ultimate goal for any of the speeches that we give is to have them be remembered. The real challenge for all of us is to find ways to leverage the importance of public speaking and make this happen. The good news is that there is a simple, time-tested method that can transform a ho-hum speech into one that will be able to be recalled long after you are done talking. What is this secret technique you ask? Simple: it’s storytelling.


When you decide to include a story in your next speech, you are going to have to find a way to get your audience interested in the story that you’ll be telling. The good news is that we all love a story; the bad news is that we won’t listen to you unless you grab our attention from the start.

In order to “hook” your audience’s attention at the beginning of your story, you are going to need to find a way to engage your audience. What this means is that you are going to have to stimulate their sense of curiosity. A great way to go about doing this is to invite them to share in something with you that they will find exciting.


In order to tell a good story, you are going to have to tap into your audience’s imagination. Sure, you may be a good storyteller; however, you are going to need to have your audience help you out. They are going to need to take the words that you say and turn them into vivid mental images that they can almost reach out and touch.

By telling a story your goal is to enliven your audience’s imagination. The best way to make this happen is to help them to use their imagination to access their creativity. By doing this, they’ll take the story that you tell them and use it to create a vivid movie that plays in their mind while you talk.


The reason that we give speeches is to change the world in some small way. The reason that we add a story to a speech is to make it easier for us to connect with our audience so that they will go out and change the world because of the words that we’ve shared with them. When you add storytelling to your next speech, you are going to have to take the time to observe your audience.

What you’ll be looking for while you are sharing your story with them is that light of connection that shows up in their eyes when they are “getting” your story. You want your audience to be affected by the story that you are telling them and the only way that you’ll be able to determine if this is happening is by carefully watching them.

What All Of This Means For You

The ability to add stories to our speeches and then tell them well can cause our next speech to be remembered for a long time. In order to make this happen we have to master the art of storytelling so that we can share the benefits of public speaking with our audience. This includes invitation, imagination, and impact.

When you are starting a story, be sure to engage your audience by taking the time to stimulate their curiosity. Invite them to come along and share something exciting with you. In order to get your audience involved in the story that you are telling them, tap into their creativity. Ask them to imagine something with you and you will have started to build images in their heads. Finally, while you are telling your story keep a close eye on your audience – make sure that they are following your every word.

Since the beginning of time, man has been communicating using stories. This powerful communication tool is just as effective today as it as always been. As a speaker, you need to be able to tap into the true power of storytelling and use it in order to transform your next speech into an unforgettable experience for your audience.

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

Question For You: How many stories do you think that you should include in a 30-minute speech?

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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 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

Potentially before you even get up before your next audience, despite the importance of public speaking, they will have made up their minds as to if they want to spend any time listening to what you have to say. I know that this sounds dreadfully unfair; however, that’s just the way that life is. Your audience will have reached their conclusion when they learned what the title of your speech is. Perhaps we should spend some time talking about how to create great speech titlesp>