How to Tell Better Stories in Your Speeches

Patricia Fripp Executive Speech Coach
Patricia Fripp Executive Speech Coach

If your goal is to tell better stories in your speeches and use vivid examples in your business presentations this advice will be helpful:

• Think chronologically.
• Shorter sentences or phrases.
• Consider each visual scene.

Here is a specific example from one of my executive speech coaching clients. John was running a panel at his company’s national sales meeting. I had notice that his email signature file included a line about moving fast. He mentioned “Yes, last year I accepted a new role that was a cross functional move. I have been mvoing fast to get up to speed. This is the norm for our company. This panel I am running is to listen to others who have successfully taken on new roles.”

In conversation he told me his wife would be joining him for the weekend when the national sales meeting was over. Then he added, “My wife came in for the weekend, and we went to see David Copperfield after last years’ sales meeting, and he made her disappear.”

I recommended that would be great to turn into a story to make the connection.
Here is the Fripped version. Notice the techniques:

• Think chronologically.
• Shorter sentences or phrases.
• Consider each visual scene.

“After last years’ sales meeting,
my wife Tammy came in for the weekend.
We went to see David Copperfield.
Three quarters of the way through the show, he threw several balls into the audience.
Tammy caught one.
David said, “If you touched a ball, please come on the stage.”
He sat 20 people on bleachers and covered them with a tarp.
Whoosh! Five seconds later, they were gone!
Suddenly, they appeared at the back of the room.
On the way out, I asked Tammy, “How did he do it?”
She said, “We are sworn to secrecy. However, we did have to move really fast!”
As the sales meeting was in Vegas, and his theme incorporated the importance of moving fast it set the tone well.

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Executive Speech Coach and Hall of Fame Keynote Speaker Patricia Fripp works with individuals and companies who realize that powerful, persuasive presentation skills give them a competitive edge.