Turn Your Everyday Experiences into Engaging, Powerful Stories

By November 5, 2018 November 23rd, 2019 No Comments
three executives, two men, one woman, walking in hallway, sharing powerful stories

I’m often asked, “When it comes to deciding what story to tell, where do I start?”

Powerful stories are those that touch people, that touch people with a personal experience shared in a memorable workplace message.

When you are thinking about the next opportunity to communicate, especially a high stakes one (e.g., presentation, board meeting, big report, quarterly town hall, etc.) where a story will help advance your agenda (when won’t it?), think about experiences that truly changed you.


These experiences are times in your life where you gained new insights and where you changed because of these new insights. These insights should be profound such that they still affect your thinking and actions today.

Your teenage years are generally the best place to start. These years were generally your formative years, where you had many, diverse life experiences.

Then, take these experience moments and turn them into workplace business stories with a specific message, a specific idea, a specific action you want your audiences to take. I call these Purpose Stories–stories told on purpose, to illustrate a point. In comparison, low impact stories are Today Stories.


Here are some suggestions to spur some creativity. Select an experience moment that will be relevant to your purpose and resonate with your audience.

Firsts First win, first loss (playing sports, hobby, tournament), first job, first promotion
Relatives Grandma, Grandpa, Aunt, Uncle, Mother, Father (always great sources of stories, sayings, messages)
Media Movies, books, poems, authors
Travel New city, new country, new food, new language


Photography Source:  DepositPhotos

Ira Koretsky

About Ira Koretsky

Ira Koretsky has built The Chief Storyteller® into one of the most recognized names in communication, especially 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 specialties are simplifying the complex and communicating 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 communication coach.