When you give a speech or presentation, do you include stories or anecdotes in your material? If not, you should. Anecdotes and stories are not only interesting for your audience but they also lend credibility to you as a speaker; and, one of your goals as a speaker is to establish this reliability. Your audience needs to be able to trust in your worthiness to speak on a particular topic.

When you consider how many speakers talk about the same or similar subject matter, the act of establishing credibility, which labels you as an expert or an authority in your field, is enhanced by the stories or anecdotes you share with your listeners.

Are stories and anecdotes the same thing? No. Anecdotes are always true; stories may or may not be true.

I recently read an article in which the writer was talking about the Do’s of storytelling. What is interesting is that he assumed that all stories told in public speaking are humorous. Unless you are a comedian, all your stories need not be humorous. Much of it will depend on your topic.

When I talk about the voice and/or presentation skills, I add stories and anecdotes about my clients or myself which may be serious, which may be amazing, or which may be funny. It depends on the story. What it does for me as an authority in my field, however, is establish me as the expert.

If you are new in your career, you may not have many experiences that you can share. If such is the case, you are welcome to use other people’s material that is relevant to your subject as long as you give credit to the writer of such material. This is where researching your topic is so important.

You can find a wealth of information on the internet pertinent to your topic whether it is through articles, blogs or forums. Check out YouTube for speeches and presentations dealing with your subject matter. Start networking by means of your Social Media connections as well as in personal contact through organizations such as leads clubs, rotary organizations and chambers of commerce. The more experience you gain, the greater your credibility.

Study professional speakers like Zig Ziglar and Anthony Robbins and watch how they use their personal experiences. Stories and anecdotes add great interest to a speech or a presentation. Not to use them is a mistake because it will leave your audience both unimpressed and uninspired.

Author's Bio: 

The Voice Lady, Nancy Daniels, offers private, corporate and group workshops in voice and presentation skills as well as Voicing It! the only video training on voice improvement. If you would like to see a dramatic ‘before & after’ clip, visit Voice Training Website and check out Craig’s video.