Just How Good Are Your Storytelling Skills?

Posted on Posted in Color, Public Speaking

The value of storytelling in public speaking is undeniable. Audiences love true stories especially if they are recounted with a good description. You may use them in your opening, your closing, or place them in the development of your delivery as long as they are relevant to your topic.

Read the following paragraph out loud and try painting the picture of the scene with the vocal variety in your voice, the tone of your voice, your facial expression and your body language. As you describe what is happening, depict the emotions about which you are speaking: urgency, surprise, confusion, chaos.

Instinctively the cop groped for the edge of the aisle seat in order to get to the stage, but before he could move, the lights went back on briefly, followed by another electrifying clap of thunder, which brought even more turmoil and a total blackout. The right half of the tent roof had savagely ripped through its bindings, thereby falling down on the masses and bringing with it a deluge of water.

Practice this several times until you are comfortable with your words, then video-record yourself.  Play it back and study what you see and hear. Are you expressive? Does your voice depict what you are describing? What about your facial expression and body language? Did these two aspects of your delivery also help tell the story?

What is needed in this reading is a sense of urgency as well as a feeling of frustration. The cop is unable to move forward because of the dark, the water, and the masses of people struggling to move from under the downed, heavy tent. Are you able to capture this picture?

One of the best actors for facial expression and body language is Harrison Ford. You know every thought, every feeling, every emotion he is experiencing just by watching his face and his body. They often tell more about his character than his voice.

Don’t be afraid to allow your emotions and your expression to be seen and heard. It makes all the difference between a less than exciting delivery and one that truly has pizzazz! Good storytelling is part of what makes a dynamic speaker. Even if the stories are not original, as long as you give credit to the writer or the person to whom it is about, you are free to use someone else’s material especially if it can further explain or solidify the point you are trying to make.

Become skilled at storytelling. It could do wonders for your success in public speaking.



The Voice Lady Nancy Daniels offers online sessions in voice and presentation skills as well as Voicing It!, the only complete video training program on voice improvement. For more information, check out Voice Training Services.