If you read Part 1 of this article, you discovered why your speech’s personal stories may be causing audience disassociation. Here, let’s look at some ways to find better stories to connect with your audience.

Where do you find your stories?

Do you rely on personal experiences?  Play Google like a maestro? Prompt ChatGPT to make something up?

Or do you love tapping into a well-known tale that brilliantly illustrates your point (even though everyone’s heard it before)?

Regardless, we can all agree that a great story is vital for keeping your audience’s interest.

When you can include a diverse set of stories in your speech, you’ll be able to avoid the problem of audience disassociation – when your audience members fail to engage with your message due to an inability to relate to the content or the emotions in the message itself.

(In other words, avoid the eye rolls and glazed stares that mean they’ve lost interest.)

Over the years,  I’ve noticed that the very best tales aren’t the ones thatwhen are commonly known.  In fact, using well-known, well-publicized stories can actually make it even easier for your audience to lose interest.  

For instance, several years ago, every conference I went to had at least one speaker who would talk about Zappos. It didn't matter if the speaker talked about marketing, culture, performance, happiness, or employee retention... Zappos had a story. 

Each of those speakers pitched and presented the story as if it were totally unique.  They acted like the audience hadn’t heard about the company six times before.


Finding excellent and engaging stories comes down to a basic mindset shift…

Instead of embarking on a mad search for the perfect story to fill that hole in your speech, start to think of yourself as a constant collector of great tales. Even before you need them, look for great stories about you related to your speech topic. Think of yourself almost like a journalist. 

In fact, I have a folder on my desktop called “Stories” which I just checked this morning… 

Build Your Own Treasure Trove of Stories

Inside my “stories” folder, there are 3,375 items.  Some are stories, some are pictures, and all of them are opportunities. 

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