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Westside Toastmasters is located in Los Angeles and Santa Monica, California

Selling Through Stories

Speakers are in the selling business, and they sell facts by using examples the audience is far more likely to retain than straight facts. Use your support to focus: All of your stories, jokes, analogies, and quotations must be related to your subject.

It's very important to get into the habit of looking for good stories that will make your speeches interesting. Audiences love people stories. During one program, I asked people to tell a story about their first driving test, first day at college, or first date—in 25 words or less. I got a wonderful variety of interesting stories, and afterward people said that was the best part of the program, because it made them realize—vividly—the importance of stories.

Technical speakers must make sure they present a vivid illustration or demonstration of their process, procedure, or discovery. By doing so, they "translate" the esoteric into the relevant. Developing this kind of support isn't just more fun for your audience; it's more fun for you too. It also shows the audience that you are comfortable with your topic and your expertise and that you care about giving the audience an enjoyable speech.


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