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You Don’t Have a Personal Story?<br> <i>Really?</i>

Try This!

The Body of Your Speech has a formula:

  1. Make a Point.

  2. Tell a Story that reinforces the point. (Speaker’s Template HERE.)

  3. There should be three to five points, supported by a story or two reinforcing each point.

  4. Make them personal stories.

  5. Personal stories because no one else, unless given permission, can tell your story!

  6. Presentation expert Nancy Duarte says, “Personal stories are the emotional glue that connect your audience to your message.”

  7. Intuitively, you know this is true because when you hear stories you do this!

When listening to someone’s story, we go into our brain’s hard drive and find a personal experience file that relates to that point and story.

Their story “sticks” with our personal experience and increases the odds we’ll GET IT!

Too often, to support points of their talks, speakers tell stories of the exploits of well known people. The problem is many in their audience have already heard them, sometimes multiple times. Here are some Examples:

  1. Honesty

  2. George Washington confessing he who cut down the cherry tree.

  3. Abe Lincoln, after realizing he had taken a few cents from a customer more than was due, closing his store and walking a long distance to return the change.

  4. Persistence

  5. Thomas Edison’s “Ten thousand tries to invent the light bulb.”

The above examples are great at reinforcing their points, but they’re told far too often. I once heard the “Edison Persistence Story” from back-to-back speakers! Yikes!

However, many say, “I don’t have any stories!” 


Try This: It’s a great tip I received from Mark Brown, the 1995 Toastmaster world champion of public speaking.

  1. Pick up your mobile phone and open to the Home page.

  2. Click on “Photos.”

  3. Start scrolling!

When viewing those pictures, you are going down ‘memory lane’ and looking at ‘frames’ of many stories!

  1. What adventure were you on.

  2. What did you learn?

  3. Was there an obstacle you overcame?

  4. If so, how did you do it?

  5. Were you helping someone?

  6. What’s the ‘back story’ of why?

  7. How are you helping?

  8. What are you learning?

  9. What are you teaching?

When you look at those pictures and remember the stories, what points in the body of your presentation do they reinforce? Because they are probably your pictures, you know the story. You were there when it occurred and retelling it to your audience is easy.

Determining what points those experiences reinforce makes you to think about what was learned from the experience in the photo. It gives the picture more value to you, and will help make your point when telling the story to your audience!

CLICK on Photos on your mobile device, starting scrolling, and find those personal stories!

Do that, and I predict your next presentation will be absolutely, positively – NO SWEAT!


About the Author Fred E. Miller is a speaker, an international coach, and the author of the books, “NO SWEAT Public Speaking!” and “NO SWEAT Elevator Speech!”

Businesses, Individuals, and Organizations hire him because they want to improve their Networking, Public Speaking, and Presentation Skills.

They do this because they know: Speaking Opportunities are Business, Career, and Leadership Opportunities.

They also know: We perceive really great speakers to be Experts, and we like to work with Experts.

He shows them how to: Develop, Practice, and Deliver ‘Knock Your Socks Off Presentations!’ with – NO SWEAT!


  1. Keynote Speaker

  2. Workshop Facilitator

  3. Breakout Sessions

  4. Personal and Group Public Speaking and Presentation Coaching


  1. Lessening The Fear of Public Speaking with – NO SWEAT!

  2. Crafting Your Elevator Speech, Floor by Floor with – NO SWEAT!

  3. Speaking Opportunities are Business, Career, and Leadership Opportunities.

  4. We are All Self-Employed!


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