You have expertise that others need.  When you share your message, whether via social media, video, a book or a speech, you have the ability to help others, which is pretty powerful.  Jackie Bailey, founder and president of Emerald City Consulting and The Speak Feed Lead Public Speaking Studio, was my guest on the SkillBites Show podcast.  She discussed ways to develop and deliver your powerful message.

When you convey your message as a story, your audience will appreciate it.  Everyone loves stories.  Jackie suggested breaking your message into 8 story components, in this order:

  1. Once upon a time ….  This sentence describes the setting and the main character.
  2. And every day ….  Here you delve into the character and the nature of their daily life.
  3. Until one day ….  This is where the challenge or dilemma comes in, the conflict facing the main character.
  4. And because of that ….  Describe what happened to the main character when faced with the challenge; what other events transpired.
  5. And because of that ….  Further describe what happened as a result of the prior set of events.
  6. Until finally ….  This is the climax, where the main character makes a break through or a major decision.
  7. And now we see ….  Share the lesson.
  8. And since that day ….  Show the contrast between the main character before the challenge and the growth of the main character since then.

The more you can show your vulnerability and failures, the more powerful the story and message will be.  Your audience will like you more when you show that you are a normal human being making mistakes just like them.  They will be more likely to trust you to guide them because you have learned the way.

It’s important to understand the purpose for telling the story.  Imagine you were given a stage to present your message to the world, and had only 5 minutes. What would you say?  That will help you determine what is most important to you.  Then think about what you can add into the story to boost its credibility, such as statistics, quotes or case studies.

You can also look back at your life to identify your greatest failures, successes and times of greatest happiness, excitement or pain.  Each of these is its own story, and creating these stories provides you with the ability to call them up when appropriate.  You will feel more at ease when you need to improvise or illustrate a point you are making. 

You should practice your stories on others so you become fluent in telling them.  That will also help you strengthen them by incorporating the feedback you get from your audience and by testing your speech to determine the best words.  The most powerful stories are ones that make the audience feel the emotions experienced by the main character.  You want to bring them to a positive end.

Jackie extended an offer to the SkillBites audience of a free 7 day trial of her video vision board app.  Click here to get your 7 day trial of this powerful app.   Using this app for just 3 minutes can boost your mood, make you more mindful, prosperous, happy, successful and courageous for 6 hours!Jackie can be reached at  Jackie provides classes that empower children, teens and adults to be confident, effective public speakers.  You can learn more about her work at