One of the best ways to become a great communicator is to become a great storyteller.
People connect with and remember stories much more than they remember statistics. That’s because stories showcase emotion. They are the gateways to people’s minds and hearts.
Great storytellers are continually adding to their library of stories.
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Here are four great places to find stories for speeches:
- Life experiences. Stories from your own life are the most powerful stories you can tell. That’s because you’ve actually lived them and can add the emotion other people can’t. Look through your life for meaningful stories that add to your message or that other people would appreciate.
- Networking. Some of the best stories come from simply talking to people at dinners, conferences, and other events. The more people you talk to—especially people with different backgrounds or jobs than you—the more stories you’ll find. Ask questions and listen to find interesting stories people can relate to.
- Popular media. Storytellers also consume a lot of stories. Pay attention to books, movies, TV shows, and podcasts. Media doesn’t have to be about business to give you great stories for your speeches. Always watch or listen with an ear for good stories.
- Family and friends. Ask your friends and family if they have a story or experience about a specific topic. Don’t be afraid to reach out to people and share their stories. When you get a story from a family member or friend, you can also uncover the details and ask questions so you understand the entire anecdote.
Look for stories that make you feel something—joy, anger, excitement, or any other range of emotions. Compelling stories have universal appeal and can be understood by everyone. And of course, the best stories are unique and not something that’s been plagiarized or repeated countless times.
As you build your repertoire of stories, you’ll be able to select the best story to get your point across in a speech, no matter the topic.
Stories are everywhere, but you have to pay attention to find them. As you collect stories, you’re on your way to becoming a master storyteller and communicator.
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