How to Tell Better Stories in Your Speeches

Speech Coach and Keynote Speaker Patricia Fripp on Stage
Your speeches will be more effective when you tell better stories. In-demand speech coach and creator of FrippVT, Patricia Fripp explains how.

If you are a leader, manager, executive, sales professional, or keynote speaker, you are more effective when you tell great stories and use good examples. These three techniques will help you turn simple stories into examples that will be remembered and repeated:

  • Think chronologically.
  • Use shorter sentences or phrases.
  • Consider each visual scene.

In January, Mark, a district sales manager from a biotech company, was preparing to moderate a panel at the Las Vegas National Sales Meeting. He was nervous with his new role in front of the 100-person audience.

In our pre-coaching communications, I noticed his email signature line included a quote about “moving fast.” He explained that he had a new role and was “moving fast” to understand new products, clients, and products. This panel’s task was to encourage the audience to embrace new jobs in different areas and to realize that they would have to move fast to get up to speed.

Mark did not have any idea how to set the tone for the meeting. I asked, “What experience do you have with Las Vegas?”

Mark said, “After last year’s sales meeting, my wife Tammy came in for the weekend. We went to see David Copperfield, and he made her disappear.”

The Frippnotized version was very easy for Mark to remember, and it incorporated the three techniques. Notice: I recommend that you write your script with one short sentence or phrase going down the page, not across as in a paragraph. In your rehearsal, this makes it easier for you to internalize.

“After last year’s sales meeting,
my wife Tammy came in for the weekend.
We went to see David Copperfield’s magic show.
Three quarters of the way through his performance, Copperfield threw two dozen balls into the audience.
Tammy caught one.
David said, “If you touched a ball, please come on the stage.”
He seated 24 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!”

Remember, the sales meeting was in Las Vegas, and Mark’s theme incorporated the importance of moving fast. He said, “The panel was a wild success, and everyone raved about my opening story!”

The Importance of A Good Story from FrippVT


Fripp Virtual Training

FrippVT online learning to help you tell better stories in speeches.
FrippVT, an online, interactive learning platform on presentation skills will help you tell better stories in your speeches.

If you would like to learn how to improve your speech structure and storytelling ability, check out Patricia Fripp’s highly interactive online learning platform FrippVT.

Become a great speaker easily, conveniently, and quickly through FrippVT. Try three free chapters on Stories, Openings, and Sales: http://frippvt.com

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.