What is one of the most important skills a public speaker can master?


A good story will grab attention, connect you with the audience, and make your point hit home. As speakers it smart for us to learn and use effective story telling techniques.

However, this has been traditionally been one of my weaknesses. Sure, in the past I used stories, but they were like black and white TV with poor signal. The audience heard the facts, but were not drawn in.

That’s  not what I want!

We want our stories to be like a 52" HDTV with surround sound. Our audience should be sucked into the story and feel like they are in the scene. Do this and our stories will connect, the audience will be entertained, and our message will stick.

How do we tell great stories?

Over the next few posts, you’ll be learning effective storytelling techniques that will help you and I be a great story teller. Here is the first technique: 


Story Telling Technique #1: Put the audience into the speech.

Last night at my Toastmaster club, I started with this line:

Come with me to my parents warm family room. A scent of Christmas is in the air. In the corner (I point) is the glowing Christmas tree. The stereo is softly playing "Joy to the World.

Did you picture the scene? Did you feel you were in it? I knew it was a success, when my evaluator said, "We felt like we were there."

Notice how I started? "Come with me…" This invited the audience into my scene.

I learned this technique from Darren Lacroix and Craig Valentine. Both World Champions of public speaking. It is very powerful and effective.

Use these "Invite statements" to draw your audience into the story.

Here are a few other ways to bring the audience into your speech:

– If you had been there…

"If you had been there, you would have seen me dashing out the door."

– Come with me

– Imagine…

"Imagine a spring day…."

– Think about…

Get the picture?

Try this effective story technique and bring the audience in. Have more ideas? Feel free to share them below.

Go to part 2.

(C) Arlen Busenitz 2009


Arlen Busenitz

Arlen Busenitz is an experienced speaker with over 650 presentations. He is Author of several books, CD's,and creator of Become a Better Speaker in One Evening™

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