I was recently on a speaking tour in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Being spring break, my 13 year old daughter, Courtney, had requested that she go along with me for the 10 day journey. After encountering a fall on the ice, a bruised ego and a rather stoic, staunch and unfeeling host, my daughter asked me if we could move from the flat of the Russian family that we were staying with, into the 5-star Astoria Hotel. It was a $2,500 decision (5 star hotels in Russia charge New York City prices).

After her tears from the fall and asking if we could go home to America, I quickly made the decision to move to the luxurious Astoria. Later that night at dinner, she said to me, ‘Dad, thank you for moving. I know it cost a lot of money, but I want you to know that I really appreciate it. You know dad, someday I want to marry someone like you.’ Money well spent, wouldn’t you say?

Notice what just happened. I didn’t give you a paragraph full of facts and figures. I drew you into my true story. Get this! Stories will evoke emotions. Facts don’t. As one speaker I heard recently said, ‘Facts tell; stories sell’. Should you never use facts in public speaking? Facts are great but you better tell the story if you are going to sell your message, your products or yourself.

Do you recall the movie, 48 hours, with Eddie Murphy and Nick Nolte? Remember when they are waiting across the street from the parking garage for the guy to show up and retrieve Eddie Murphy’s car with $250,000 in the trunk? Eddie Murphy climbs over the seat of the old Cadillac convertible and takes his coat off to snuggle up and sleep while they wait. Reggie (Murphy’s character) says to Jack (Nolte’s character), in this high pitched, childlike way, ‘Jack, tell me a bedtime story’. Get this! Your entire audience is begging you every time you stand to speak, ‘Please, tell me a story’.

The story stimulates the entire brain. Why didn’t I, in the last paragraph, just blurt out the point and tell you what I wanted to say? Why did I tell you about the movie? It doesn’t matter if you saw the movie or not, I still prompted you to ‘see the picture’, ‘hear the way it sounded’ and get ‘the feeling that I wanted to evoke in you’.

The story requires that your whole brain be involved. The story prepares your mind to receive the fact. The fact is cold and hard yet still beneficial. Nonetheless, the fact is anchored much better, when it is first set up by the story. This communicates to the whole brain utilizing 3 of your senses; visual, hearing and emotional. Thus you really ‘connect’ at a deeper level with your audience. You deliver the same message but with the story, you connect on a subconscious basis that causes your message to fully arrive and fully communicate with your entire audience.

What’s the point of all I’m saying to you? Stay home, don’t go to Russia and watch old Eddie Murphy and Nick Notle movies? (Notice what I just did. I made you think about all I’ve said again. I call it ‘the double lock in’.) No. Tell the story and make your presentations 'out-standing' because you connected with their hearts and not just their brains.

Author's Bio: 

Michael Murphy has delivered over 2,000 paid, professional presentations over the past 25 years. Traveling and speaking on 5 continents and 17 countries, his experience in public speaking and ability to transcend cultures in communicating with the heart, has made him the favorite of thousands of people. Michael is also an Internet entrepreneur owning over 50 high profile websites and domains. Michael has spoken to audiences exceeding 5,000 and to groups of 20. A passionate visionary and personal development coach affords him the opportunity to stay on the cutting edge of self-help technology and public speaking excellence.