Tip – An Easy Way to Start a Presentation, Share a “Today Story”

By March 2, 2015 February 9th, 2019 No Comments
female executive talking to a dozen of her staff, telling a today story, inspiring them, mixed team of genders, ages, backgrounds

One of the most common questions/statements we receive about storytelling is “I just don’t know where to begin.”

Choosing the right story, turning it into an engaging experience, and practicing to be a great storyteller of course takes time. What really doesn’t take much time preparing, is telling a “Today Story,” especially if happened within one day of your talk. In this way, you have little time to prepare, simply because the experience is very recent.


A Today Story is an experience that has happened within the past week and when turned into a personal business story, is one that will have a low impact (still interesting and relevant). Even better, if it was the night before say at the opening party or mixer, or before you presentation or training workshop. If the story occurred more than a week out, it loses its relevance when you say, “Something interesting happened the other day…” or “I’d like to share a recent story.”

As with all business stories, the order of preference is

  1. Experiences that happened to you personally
  2. Experiences that happened to a friend, relative, or colleague (one-degree away)
  3. Experiences that you heard about (two or more degrees away)


  • Airplane ride
  • Conversation you had with someone previously (at the opening event night before is also a good source)
  • Taxi/Uber/Lyft ride to/from the airport with the person sitting next you and/or the driver
  • Conversation you had with your spouse, child, parent, significant other, anyone related to your child (teacher, professor)
  • “I was just talking to FirstName” about (a participant in the audience)
  • Experience a restaurant
  • Dialogue with a colleague, staff member, boss, partner, vendor
  • Conversation standing on line at the grocery store, a retail store, coffee shop
  • … and the list goes on

In three minutes or less, YOU CAN tell a great business story. One that is relevant and interesting. And one that sets the stage for a great presentation to come to your audience.

Photography Source:  DepositPhotos

Ira Koretsky

About Ira Koretsky

Ira Koretsky has built The Chief Storyteller® into one of the most recognized names in business storytelling. He has delivered over 500 keynote presentations and workshops in nearly a dozen countries, in more than one hundred cities, across 30 plus industries. His specialty is helping you simplify the complex and when the stakes are high. He is also an adjunct professor in public speaking and storytelling at the University of Maryland's Business School. With over 25 years of experience, he is a sought-after global speaker, trainer, consultant, and executive communication coach.