What is the one thing all great public speakers have in common?

They are master storytellers!

Stories are your secret weapon to dramatically improve your speeches and influence your audience.

If you want to grab your audience’s attention, connect with them on a deeper level, keep them engaged throughout your speech, and ultimately motivate them to act, you too need to become a great storyteller.

One way to quickly become a better storyteller is by analyzing movies.

You can learn a lot of valuable storytelling techniques by paying attention to what you’re watching.

Here are 5 tips for creating captivating stories that you can use in your next speech.


Create Mental MoviesTo Appeal To All Senses

Keep your audience engaged and at the edge of their seats by sucking them into your story.

The easiest way to do this is by creating mental movies in your audience’s minds.

You see, all experience is based on our 5 senses (sight, sound, feeling, smell, and taste).

These are the key ingredients to getting your audience to experience and interact with your story in their mind’s eye.

Instead of boring your audience to death with facts and figures, create vivid visual descriptions that get your audience to feel, touch, hear, etc. what is going on.

Part of what makes movies so engaging is that they don’t just provide visuals and sound. You can feel, smell, and taste the things on screen if the movie does a good enough job of sucking you in.


Make Your Stories Personal

The best stories and speeches are never scripted. What make documentary movies so engaging is the fact they are true-to-life stories.

They come from the heart.

Don’t be afraid to share your past experiences.

Open up to your audience and show them the real you.

This will help you connect and build trust with your audience because you are showing them you are human, that you are just like everyone else in the room.

It’s no mystery why Forest Gump is one of the most lovable movie characters - he is uniquely himself and unafraid of sharing his personality with the world.

Also, humans are voyeurs by nature, we want to know what is going on in the lives of others, even complete strangers.

By getting personal and letting your audience into your life, you will quickly build rapport and create a much more engaging and relatable story.


Ramp Up the Conflict

Without conflict, your story can’t be interesting or inspiring.

Your main character needs to face obstacles and hardships.

The more intense and dramatic these challenges are to overcome, the better, because this creates suspense and makes for a compelling story.

Braveheart is a great example of a compelling story that’s set around conflict and continuously builds up the suspense until the very end.

Also, it’s important to make sure your main character’s struggles are relatable to your audience so they can connect with the main character and become deeply invested in your hero’s journey - rooting for them to come out victorious.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s character in 50/50, a story about the journey of a man dealing with cancer, is extremely relatable and touching to anyone who has a friend or family member with cancer or has been diagnosed with cancer themselves.


Surprise Your Audience

Surprises are a key ingredient to keeping your audience engaged in your story.

The more twists and turns you throw at them the more invested they will be.

Surprises are especially impactful at the climax of your story - you want to shock your audience with a big surprise ending.

Just think of how you felt after watching a movie that ended with a big plot twist you never saw coming and how much better and more memorable it made the entire story.

A movie that comes to mind is Shutter Island. It has a fantastic surprise ending that sticks with you long after it’s over.


End on a Positive Note

The most inspiring and effective stories in history ended with a positive outcome.

It’s important to understand your audience becomes emotionally invested in your main character, they want to see them overcome his or her challenges and FINALLY achieve the goal they set out to accomplish.

Not only does this make for a great ending but it creates an emotional experience for your audience.

It instills hope and shows your audience that they too can come out on top, no matter how hard their struggles may be.



Being a master storyteller takes time and practice, but these 5 techniques will help you create engaging and inspiring stories right way.

The next time you are watching a movie, be aware of the storytelling techniques being used and think of creative ways to include them in your own stories.