Friday, August 21, 2015

Speakers: Explode Audience Engagement With Simple Story Telling Techniques

It was 4 years ago (2011) when my professional speaking career and business began to take off and I can’t identify the specific turning point.

If you are an aspiring speaker it may be useful for you to know the three things happened that made the biggest difference:

  1. I put a stake in the ground defining my topic and area of expertise (workplace communication)
  2. I actively reached out to organizations and associations that were the best fit for that topic, and
  3. I began to study and incorporate the story telling techniques of some of the best speakers.

Number one above is important to get you started and number two is essential to find audiences that can resonate with your value.

But, number three is absolutely vital if you want to be able to build a following that has you asked back to speak and gets you referred for other speaking opportunities.

Here are some things I learned and incorporated into my story telling that have made a difference in how my audiences react and respond:

  1. Dive right into the story with no prefacing statements like, “let me tell you a story,” or “here’s a story about a similar situation that happened to me.”  To start the story use language like, “You’re so lucky you weren’t with me when…” “Imagine if you’re at…” or “You may be wondering where/how…”
  2. Hold the point of the story until the end, create suspense as to how the story specifically relates to the audience and your topic.
  3. Create a 5 Sentence Skeletal Story* for framework that includes:

a.     Characters

b.     Conflict

c.      Cure

d.     Change

e.      Carryout Message
*this is 5/8 of the “8 C’s of World Class Story Telling” that create dynamic, engaging stories from the stage that will have your audiences on the edge of their seats listening to you. 

It is well worth investing the time in creating, practicing (in front of a live audience) and refining your stories, give it try and if you'd like help visit

Skip Weisman is The Workplace Communication Expert and a member of an elite group of international World Class Speaking Coaches.

Skip works with aspiring speakers to improve their presentation skills and programs around content, organization and delivery, while also working with the owners and CEOs of small businesses with between 6-60 employees to improve communication in the workplace.

The work Skip does with his small business clients can transform work environments in as little as 90-days to create a championhip company cultures that are more positive, more productive and even more profitable.

You can download his newest workplace report, "The Missing Ingredient to Improving Employee Performance" at and learn about Skip's keynotes and seminars on workplace communication at .


  1. Thanks, Daniel.
    Anything specific you thought was of particular value?