Last week one of the members at Solent Speakers, the local Toastmasters club which I belong to,
gave a very powerful speech on the subject of hope. Afterwards many people commented on how the speech had touched them personally. Why was this? Well partly it was the speaker’s measured delivery, beautiful word picture painting and great use of pauses but there was more to it than that.

What really made the difference was the fact that he dared to share a personal story about how a member of his family had suffered from mental illness and how this had effected him and other members of the family.

This story was powerful and personal and it helped the audience to feel the emotions that he was feeling. Sharing personal stories such as this are not appropriate for every presentation but they are part of the presenters toolkit. All of the best presenters I know make a habit of collecting true stories of the things that happen to them and those close to them. Such snippets can then be used to bring their subjects to life.

My challenge to you is to become a story collector as well as a story teller and also to dare to share some of the more personal and poignant stories from your life in order to help you connect with your audience.

Have a great weekend

The Presentation Doctor.

1 Comment

  1. Fred E. Miller on 15/08/2010 at 10:43

    Good suggestion about the stories, Gavin.

    One big advantage of Personal Stories, is that no one else (without your permission) can tell them!

    Too many people tell other people’s stories. Example: Persistence – Thomas Edison and his 10,000 attempts to invent the light bulb. Great Persistence Story, but many people have heard it.

    Carry a digital recorder. When those personal stories occur in real time – Capture them for future use. Then, for the right speech, tell YOUR Story!


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