Public Speaking: Magic of Telling a Story

May 28th, 2009 by Frank Damelio

As seen in the video above, telling a story works. Here is a great idea from Lisa Braithwaite to ensure that you not only capture their attention but retain it until the end.

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43 Responses to “Public Speaking: Magic of Telling a Story”

  1. Rita Schiano Says:

    Excellent presentation, Frank…superb information on public speaking technique. I, too, find that telling a “story” engages the listener, gets them emotionally and intellectually involved. I’d love to get together and talk with you more about your business. – Rita
    PS You can really teach me how to do that card trick???

  2. Frank Damelio Says:

    LOL Thanks Rita! Coming from someone with your level of creativity that means a great deal to me. Once school ends I will have time to get together. Would be great to see you. YES, I can teach you the trick, but you give me your soul in return (cruel chortle).

  3. Sharon Kuchenbecker Says:

    Really nice job Frank…I am always amazed with your magic tricks…even though you say it is an easy trick, it still amazes me!! You are so right about the stories…I utilize stories all the time when speaking in any situation because it pulls in the audience.

  4. Harrison Greene Says:

    Absolutely first rate, Frank. Fun, Interesting, Thought Provoking, Great Metaphor, Effective, and Terrific PR for you. Thanks for this Frank.

  5. Mike Pantos Says:

    Hi Frank…I am always amazed with your magic tricks…You are so right about the stories…
    I utilize stories all the time when speaking in any situation because it pulls in the audience.

  6. Bella Nox Says:

    This is great! Love the trick, love the tip and love the video blog – you should definitely do more of them. Actually – I demand it! lol. What I want to know is – to whom did you give YOUR soul – to learn this card trick? 😉

  7. Brian Pioggia Says:

    I love it Frank……extremely useful info and entertaining as well.
    Thanks for thinking of me. I am always glad to see something come through from you.
    I will forward this to my sales team. Give me a heads up when school is out. Maybe we can
    grab a lunch or something.
    Best Wishes – Brian

  8. Barbara Liftman Says:

    Great video, Frank. I wholeheartedly agree. When I speak, the thing people seem to like and remember best is when I tell a story about a case I’ve handled successfully, especially if it involves facts or people they can relate to personally. Being funny helps a lot too. No one wants to listen to a list of the types of things you do and they certainly won’t remember it. They remember funny stories and clever tag lines. BTW, the camera doesn’t do you justice. You’re much more handsome in person!

  9. Maribeth Marzeotti Says:

    Very true! Very interesting too. I didn’t intend to listen to the whole presentation, but I kept listening because I wanted to hear it to the end.

  10. ron christiansen Says:


    Great job!! The “story” hooked me in, & I had to see how you would “solve” your dilemma. You earned my attention & looking forward to more!

  11. Ken Peterson Says:

    Excellent presentation – and of course the magic was superb as usual. As others have said, I too believe in using a story to capture and earn the attention of the audience. I feel it personalizes the presentation and draws them in to a closer acceptance of the presenter. It seems to me that the most common technique or type of story used by most is a joke. To me this is effective to a point but more so when it is directly related to the subject matter at hand and told in a manner that at first and for most of the story it does not seem to be a joke. Any comment?


    Ken, agreed that humor is like magic – it has the power to captivate. You make a great point that it must be relevant to the circumstances (location, population, subject matter, the former speaker’s subject matter etc). The key is to put a great deal of thought and practice into the joke beforehand, but it should look impromptu. Thanks for your comment – Frank

  12. Frank Damelio Says:

    Sharon, thanks for the kudos! I remember you mentioning stories and that sparked my interest in doing a video blog; so thanks!

    Bella Nox – So nice to see you on here. Okay, I will do more magic, I’m just getting used to the camera – see how my head is cut off? What shows on imovie and on youtube is slightly different, but I’ll get the hang of it. Your question made me laugh! Thx for your response!!

  13. Frank Aubuchon Says:

    I think we are all in agreement that a story really works well to get people’s attention. Of course your visual (card trick) is like icing on the cake!!! You grabbed two senses and the imagination, best of all you were not reading from a script. I find it very distracting when other video bloggers do that. Small issue with the sound quality but maybe it was my computer?? Great mini presentation!!

  14. Ashley Says:

    Franky D, You did a wonderful job of breaking down public speaking to the basics. It was easy to follow what you were saying, and even though the trick was not relevent to what you were talking about, you made it be the center of your conversation. That alone brings an interesting twist to how you teach. Great job!!

  15. Frank Damelio Says:

    Harrison, appreciate the praise! Please share with others you think will benefit and stay in touch!

  16. Myra Astorga Says:

    When I listen to someone speak, I always want to know what the speaker’s story is. If she or he shares a story with the audience, I will pay attention to that person even more so.

    I love your magic tricks!

  17. Jim Fitzgibbon Says:

    Great tip, trick & info!!!! I find that the presenter who can put across his message with meaningful stories interwoven in the delivery, gets my attention. I totally agree with you, and was also amazed at the trick along the way. Looking forward to more tips (and tricks!)

  18. Shawn OToole Says:


    What can I say except., you are truly the best. Your professionalism and contributions to others’ success is what makes you such a valuable asset to those who you come in contact with you. I have learned, and continue to learn, from you. Anyone who has used your services will see it’s benefit pay ten fold. If you are in a sales position and have not had the opportunity to spend time with Frank, you are missing out on a tremendous opportunity. Great presentation Frank. Thanks for all your guidance over the years.


    Shawn OToole
    Northeast Insurance Agency
    Certified Insurance Counselor

  19. Thelma Rusack Says:

    Very entertaining! Thanks for the great tip about telling a “story”. It is a very effective way to engage the audience. I try to use stories in most of my presentations.

  20. shelly & marco Says:

    Frank, awsome job, very entertaining, and informative..WE LOVED IT!! LOL

  21. Mark Paskell Says:

    Hello Frank

    Excellent presentation that had me paying full attention for the entire film.
    A great source of information for all to prepare for commercials in networking groups.
    Based on a 1-5 stars with 5 being the best, I would rate this 5 stars for content, 5 for delivery and capturing the audience’s attention with the trick and story. As far as the picture of the video I would say 4 only because there was no space at the top above your head.
    On a final note I felt that you were talking to me and I trusted you.
    Great job!

  22. Jamie Resker Says:

    Great illustration of using stories to grab people’s attention. I did hang on every word and liked how you made the point of using this technique effectively. Plus it was fun to watch the magic trick.

  23. Troy Says:

    There is a great book called “What’s Your Story” written by Craing Wortmann that is all about how to use stories in the sales process. If you like the idea of telling stories (and Frank did an amazing job!) then check out the book…

  24. Roger Phillips Says:

    What a great metaphor for gaining confidence in ANY situation! I also found a strong message in being able to adapt to changing situations and making your point even more clearly. Public speaking is always a terrifying prospect for most people. Frank is helping to make that prospect into one that the speaker will look forward to. Great job!

  25. Carol Baker Says:

    What an innovative way to make a point! I think you’ve got a great new way of teaching and blogging -perhaps you could consider some interactive videos in the future. If you ever need a magician’s assistant, we can work out a deal….

  26. Kimmi Says:

    Great Job, Frank!!! As usual!! No matter how many times I have listened to you, it’s never enough. Make sure you let me know next time you are presenting. Now that I am on the mend, I would love to come see you!! Again….Awesome!

  27. Mary Romaniec Says:

    Frank, incredible!! I just happened to give a presentation to a group this past weekend. Virtually the whole time it was anecdotal stories, mixed with an action plan and told with enthusiasm. . .just like you did. One woman told me later that she walked in the room and wondered if she would stay. But she said I “hooked her” just by HOW I was speaking. Your story, with the follow up on how to give a presentation, was fantastic!

    Keep up the good work.

  28. John Miller Says:

    Hi Frank, you are amazing. Thank you for sharing. You truly practice what you preach in a creative way and as you can tell from all the comments you and your messages are greatly appreciated. I will surely pass this on. Rock on!

  29. Mary Ann Masur Says:

    It’s FANTASTIC! You are a wonderful presenter and both your magic and story are fascinating. You have a terrific way of engaging people and sharing a message. We want to learn more! Keep up the great work.
    Mary Ann

  30. Bill Augustynski Says:

    Hello Frank, You are superb. One meeting with you and I was brought to new speaking heights that I had never dreamed. Now, if you have moment, do I have a story to tell you!

  31. Sanford Lewis Says:

    Very persuasive, thanks for this. You’ve convinced me!

  32. Kathleen Veth Says:

    Great video, Frank! Your clever, compelling message confirmed what I already know to be fact. Last night I was interviewed on cable television about how to get publicity. As a former newspaper editor, I know the trick (pun intended) is to submit an idea about an interesting person, rather than a product or service. Editors know their readers want to learn about people, challenges and resolutions. A great story works every time – in print or as part of a lecture or commercial. I used a few as part of my responses to the host’s questions. I look forward to our paths crossing again soon – some day in person! In the meantime, I’m working on a referral for you – the event isn’t until next year, but I think you’d be terrific.

    Kathleen Veth
    Write Connections

  33. Pat Arone Says:

    This was so impactful! You are so right when you gain interest through the magic, the real magic happens!!! Results!!!!!

    So what do I give you here “a 10”

    Great Job!

  34. Sue Gunnell Says:


    Thanks for sharing. I love the line about usually getting people’s politeness but having to earn their attention. It really emphasizes the need to connect with your audience and what better way than to tell a story. Your magic demonstration really brings home your point. Once again, you’ve left me with something to share and remember.

  35. Tom Schaefer Says:

    Frank, thank you for sending this to me. Not only have you provided more ammo to present to the sales team in our on-going and combined effort to deliver high quality presentations as an organization but you also reinforced to me personally what we read and intuitively know but do not act and commit upon as we should and that is the power of social networking. As always, both your magic, story iand delivery is dead on. Can’t wait for the next one!!!

    Tom Schaefer
    Systematics, Inc.

  36. Will Williams Says:

    Hey Frank,

    Rate you? Rate you? O.K…heres the deal. you tell me how you did that trick…….I give you a 10 out of a 10. you don’t……….well…….I still give you a 10! You are the man!!! Great job! Nice and simple lesson! (except for the trick..hahaha) Thank you for sharing! Keep the magic alive!

  37. Brian Ravenelle Says:


    As always…..entertaining……educational……and eye-opening!!!
    You always amaze me with your skills, knowledge and true professionalism.

    Keep up the awesome work you do!!!!

    Brian M. Ravenelle

  38. linda cohan Says:

    A clever and engaging presentation! You are a true professional, and having had the pleasure of being an attendee of one of your trainings, and also someone who has been fortunate enough to assist you in another training, I would say without hesitation, you are “the cream on top”.

    Incorporating magic into your presentations, keeps the audience engaged and wanting more.

    I can’t wait to see what you are going to do next!

  39. Kandi Perry Says:

    Frank great job and right on target!

  40. Ana Maria Edwards Says:

    Thanks for the link. Great job! It reminds me on all the fun I have when i see you at tradeshows. It really stops traffic! Good luck on your career, and keep doing fun stuff. Take care.

  41. Lisa Krach - Vienna Says:

    Bravo! So many people miss everything your saying!

  42. Lynn Cheney Says:

    Frank! It is always rewarding to listen to you and this clip was certainly not a let down! Very informative.

    Lynn Cheney
    Director of Sales and Catering
    The Beechwood Hotel

  43. Target Intellect Blog » Public Speaking: Tip for Networkers – Story Telling Says:

    […] Watch my video on public speaking and story telling. […]

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