Do you know how to how to make your story come alive?

Last time, we discussed putting the audience in the story. I used the analogy of a 52” HDTV with surround sound.

Continuing with that analogy, you want your audience to be submersed in the story and experience what you are describing

How? Simple.

Story Telling Technique #2: Bring your stories alive by use the 6 senses

Yes, I said six senses. Let me explain.

Back to my opening 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”.

How many senses did I connect with? Three. Smell, sight, and sound. Here is one more example.

Nervously, I walked to the podium. My hands gripped rough edges as I tried prepared to speak from a dry mouth. Tension hung like a heavy fog.

I used touch (gripped the rough edges) and hinted at tastes (dry mouth). Then I used the sixth sense, which I call the “Mood of the Room or the Character”.

What was the mood of the room / character?


Your audience can better experience the story when you bring up the feelings/mood of the room or character.

Here are some more examples:

  • The air was filled with anticipation.
  • Sam cheerfully walked up to me.
  • Tension filled the room.
  • I felt discouraged.

Every story you and I tell should connect with the 6 senses. Now, every little story does not need to hit all six. But we should bring them in.

How to connect with all 6 Senses

You and I can ask these questions as we prepare our stories and speeches:

  • What are the characters hearing?
  • What are they smelling?
  • What are they touching?
  • What are they tasting?
  • What are they seeing?
  • What are they feeling or what is the mood of the room?

Remember, you can bring your audience in my saying, “If you had been there, you would have smelled…”

You have heard about how some people are mainly auditory, kinesthetic, and visual? This means that some people really connect with you as you talk about the sounds in your stories. Others connect when you brilliantly paint a picture of the scene. Finally kinesthetics love it when you describe what the characters are doing!

By using all six sense, every person in the room will connect with your story.

Caution! Don’t over due it. Use a couple words to describe the scene and connect wit the 6 senses, but don’t be too detailed. You don’t have to hit all six with every paragraph. More on that later.

In conclusion, you bring your audience into the story with what we learned in Part 1. Next, we use our effective story telling technique #2 and include details which connect with the six sense and create a home theater type experience.

(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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