Need a good story or two for your talk? Here are some of my tips to help you to write it (or them):

  • Keep it short and simple. There’s no need for an epic tale; stand-up comics tell stories in about thirty seconds (which actually makes them far more effective).
  • To start generating the material, try just saying the words out loud, as if talking to a friend, and capturing the important elements. Stories read from a script – like any talk – tend to lose a lot of their power.
  • Convey the emotions of the people involved. The facts are one thing, but how did the people feel? Talk about frustration, joy, fear or whatever was felt.
  • Remember that your own story is probably interesting to your audience; you’re unique, after all.
  • Keep in mind that bad experiences often make for the best stories. You may want to present an inspiring image of strength, but you’ll probably connect better with your audience by showing flaws and vulnerability.

Read Bobette Buster’s ‘Do/Story’ ( for some great advice on breathing life into your talk using stories. It’s very short, very useful, full of stories, and very easy to read. Which is good.