The beleaguered carpenter ran his hand over the wood the way a horse trainer stokes the back of the thoroughbred that he is about to take out for a run.

In happier times this artisan was in high demand. Of course, this was before “the accident” that shocked the town. “No mistakes… not THIS time!” he chided himself. Not when you’ve had loan sharks bust your leg for not paying them on time. So the carpenter gently picked up the bevel--- like a mother lifts her child, and began to measure the straightness of the mahogany that he was about to sculpt.

With hands shaking, he drew in a deep breath knowing… Because of our DNA, audiences will always be transfixed by a “good” story. Powerful pulsating anecdotes transform us from adults into little kids sitting around a campfire where
we’re hanging on every word… longing to know what’s coming next.

Like the carpenter and his bevel, a “compelling tale” is one of the tools of the trade that every speaker must use to keep the focus on their message and to deliver real value to their audience. Here are three to use right now. And lucky you, the first one you don’t even have to write yourself. They’ve been around, perhaps, for thousands of years. And that’s because audiences of all ages will always appreciate parables or

1) “Words to the Wise Stories”
They are universal in their mass appeal and draw upon ancient wisdom to help the speaker make their point. They are:

• Native American Indian Stories
• Roman or Greek Mythology Stories
• Traditional American Folks stories
• Religious, or ethnic stories of the Jewish, Muslim, Christian Hindu, or Sufti faith.

You can research them at your library or find them on-line. Memorize these “one size fits all” fail safe stories and you’re good to go anywhere and anytime. Next is…

2) “I Heard It on The News So It Must Be True Story”

These are true tales of credibility that can be lifted from the news, a book, an article, an international story or incident. The more current… the better. Deliver this story---and your audience will be hooked because they’ll immediately have that “Aha” moment and think, “Oh, yes… I read about that!”

For instance if you’re instructing an audience on how they can successfully overcome any obstacle that life throws at them, then tell the real life account of the mountain climber whose arm got snagged in between some boulders. The young man was literally caught between a “rock and a hard place.” If he wanted to live then he must free his appendage from the mountain that has gripped him like a python grips its prey.

And so he did what he had to do… and that was cutting off his own arm above the elbow with a knife… and then living to tell about it. This real story of man over nature delivers a duel message, as well. Our inspired climber not only took care of business… BUT vowed to mountain climb again and not let the fear of dying stop him from doing what gave him joy.” The next up is…

3) “The World Is Your Oyster Story.”

This is a humorous or unsettling story that you’ve experienced yourself—or to someone you knew and it should come from a reliable source. Everyone has a horror story about a missing an appointment… an opportunity… or a father and his son “not communicating” properly.

Live your life… keep your eyes and ears open to any of these true “precious gems” that come your way and how you can apply them to a specific theme that you’re delivering. Make no mistake: If there‘s even a hint that that you’re NOT telling a real story... or God forbid it’s “stock,” or belongs to someone else--- then you’ll lose credibility with your audience.

And if this happens, then guess what? You’ve got another tale to tell.

One where you’ve learned from a mistake, taken responsibility… and moved on. A great story of redemption never goes out of style— just ask Bill Clinton or any evangelist preacher. Remember: To keep your audience spellbound, to get more recognition, learn to properly tell these three types of stories—and massage them into your message.

Author's Bio: 

Peter “The Reinvention Guy” Fogel is a humorist, speaker, seminar leader and proud member of the National Speakers Association. He delivers presentations on humor, reinvention, copywriting and marketing to corporation and associations across America and parts of Jersey. Peter’s specialty is delivering strong content with an equally humorous side. Just as important he can show you how to take a stale presentation & boost it with humor for optimal LAUGHS! As an information marketer he is also the creator of Peter Fogel’s Guide to Effective Public Speaking. For more information on his products, more articles, and to sign up for his FREE 7 Days to Effective Public Speaking E-course, go to