5 Tips for Telling a Great Story

We’ve all heard the saying, “Just the facts.” This is great when it comes to detective work but when you’re giving a presentation “just the facts” makes for a very bored audience. Pep up your performance with a personal story that will grab your audience’s attention and get them listening on the edge of their seats.

Here are 5 sure-fire tips for telling a great story that will leave them wanting more:

  1. Activate the senses: Share sensory details with your audience of what you heard, saw, felt, smelled, or even tasted. Involve them in the experience.
  2. Show don’t tell: Whether your story involves a scary scene or a joyful surprise, use your body and voice to convey how you felt. You can even act out parts if you’re feeling inspired. 
  3. Up the stakes: Every good story has something big to gain and something big to lose. Watching a game of penny poker isn’t quite as exciting as having a million dollars in the pot. The higher the stakes, the more compelling the story. 
  4. Sprinkle in suspense: Keep the stakes high and give your audience clues to follow throughout the story. People like to guess so keep them involved in the action. 
  5. Mix in meaning: A great story always communicates a universal truth and relevant meaning. Appealing to your audience on an emotional level is much more effective at inspiring change.


Share a personal before and after story that is relevant to the presentation so the audience takes something away of value. 

Some examples:

  • You were awful at your first sales job but grew to be one of the top sales people once you started listening.
  • You failed at multiple businesses before you were successful at the current one.
  • After trying to do everything yourself you learned the value of teamwork.
  • You lost it all you but worked hard to get everything you wanted.


Bonus tip: People love stories that show humanity and triumph over difficult circumstances. We always like to cheer for the underdog!

For an in-depth guide on how to craft sizzling stories for your presentations, download our FREE ebook, The 5-Ingredient Recipe for Telling Stories That Sell.

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