10 storytelling guidelines from professional speakers

Presenters often rely on anecdotes and allegories, to significant effect. Here are some insights into how to do it well—and avoid potential pitfalls.

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Here’s an interesting batch of comments and informative views that were posted to the National Speakers Association (NSA) Facebook page when a speaker asked, “Do you think stories are overrated in presentations and audiences are starting to see through them as manipulation tactics?”

The responses clearly show why professional speakers use stories in their speeches. The comments are filled with useful tips and tricks on the most effective ways to use stories in a speech. The names of the contributors have been removed. (Editor’s note: Only punctuation has been corrected in the following comments. No wording was changed by Ragan.com)

1. I would say a story is to help connect with the audience … to help them relate to the message … but it would depend on the message and how the story is presented.

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