Posted by: George E Burney | October 19, 2012

Illustrations, Examples and Stories Go Where You Cannot!

Are you a public speaker? Are you an aspiring public speaker? Either way, you should be interested in becoming skillful in the use of stories, examples and illustrations. Why? Because they can easily go where you can go only with great difficulty. If you employ them well, you also accompany them, and thereby easily reach an objective which might be otherwise out of reach. Let me explain that.

They Overcome Objections, Sidestep Roadblocks

Illustrations, stories and examples are gems which draw an audience to an idea, cause them to examine it as they would a sparkling diamond, and in doing so, to accept that idea, even if they were previously skeptical of it.

They force an audience to see facets of an issue which you may, with good reason, find it best not to state directly. When strongly held opinions or prejudices are barriers to the acceptance of your ideas by an audience, illustrations, stories and examples can be used to sidestep those roadblocks and eliminate them as factors.

Since these brilliant devices cause listeners to think, the conclusions your listeners reach are their own, making it difficult for them to deny or disagree with the point you’ve led them to. Isn’t that better than making a controversial statement and having your audience dismiss it out of hand?

Points Illustrated Are Clear and Unforgettable

They make obscure concepts crystal-clear to any audience. They remove any doubt as to the point you’re driving at, and so eliminate any possibility of your being misunderstood. One alone can serve effectively, or they can be paired to make doubly sure the point is driven home.

They serve as memory aids, causing an audience to be unable to forget your message. Years later, they will remember and talk about something you said, because of an illustration or story you used. This can make a good speech truly unforgettable.

Just as a picture is worth a thousand words, a short but vivid illustration paints a mental picture which eliminates the need for hundreds of words of explanation, yet makes the point with more clarity.

They Refresh and Stimulate Audience

Good examples, illustrations and stories quickly effect a change of pace. By doing so, they make a dull, bland, boring factual discussion take on new life. Listeners who are nearly dozing have their interest reawakened and stimulated. You have their attention again.

After all, when you’re speaking to a group of assembled individuals, you have information to share which deserves consideration. Therefore, it is important to make that information clear. You’ll also want the audience to accept and agree with the ideas you present.

Word pictures such as stories, illustrations and examples are very potent verbal devices. They can be used to do all of the above and more. They will certainly help you accomplish your objectives as a speaker. Use them well.

For a more detailed discussion of illustrations, please see my recently published eBook, entitled Creating and Using  Stories, Examples, and Illustrations in Public Speaking, available at For more information, click here:



  1. I’m extremely impressed together with your writing skills as well as with the format in your blog. Is this a paid theme or did you modify it your self? Anyway stay up the excellent high quality writing, it is rare to see a great blog like this one nowadays..

    • Thank you for your observations. I took a look at your blog, and I was impressed in turn by the quality of your content. Keep it up. In response to your question, no, it’s a standard WordPress theme. George > Date: Sun, 14 Jul 2013 15:40:51 +0000 > To: >

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