Do you want to increase your Influence? Use this Public Speaking tool

There is one really powerful tool that will help you dramatically increase your influence. Whether you’re speaking to clients or colleagues in a small setting or on a large stage using stories appropriately will dramatically improve your ability to influence them to adopt your proposals.


The most powerful tool to persuade other people is to utilise stories to increase your influence. Stories are the most powerful way for you to influence your colleagues, your clients and influence anybody to change the way they act and the way they think. Stories have been used for centuries as a way of conveying information, ideas and lessons. It’s how the human race has shared our understanding from one generation to the next and it’s how we entertain and influence our own children. Yet for some reason when we communicate with other adults, we disregard stories.


Stories increase your influence with emotion

I want you to remember stories are fundamental to your ability to influence. This is because before we buy, before we invest into an idea, a new product, a new service, we must emotionally buy it first.

How do we do that? Using stories.

We then back up the purchasing decision with logic to justify our emotional investment. But we will only be influenced when we emotionally buy into this new idea or product. If you want to influence your colleagues or clients, you need to get them to emotionally agree and invest into what you’re trying to persuade them with. If you can’t, you don’t have any chance of persuading them. You can’t rely solely on logic. Logic is secondary. Logic is what will help them justify their emotional investment.

That is why stories are super important and fundamental to your ability to influence others.

What stories should you use to increase your influence?

The key for you though is to think about what kinds of stories can you tell. Obviously you’re not going to share a Goldilocks and three bears type of story to influence colleagues and clients. You need to think about and be very strategic in what kinds of stories you use. There are at least three different types of stories that I want you to consider.

Social Proof Stories to Influence

Social proof stories are very similar to client testimonials. It’s sharing stories of people that have done the same actions you want your colleagues or clients to be persuaded to do. If you are selling a product or service, talk about your existing customers. Talk about their situation, how it changed when they’ve used your product and service. That is going to have a massive influence and impact on your ability to persuade perspective clients to pay you for your products and services.

Resistance Stories to influence

You can then have a look at resistance stories. This is where you talk about and share stories and use resistance as a way of illustrating to say that other people have had similar experiences, they have faced similar challenges and they have gotten through them and as a result, your colleagues/clients can get through them too. There’s a little synergy there with social proof but it’s really about showing that level of resistance and difficulty that other people have experienced and successfully made positive changes. Your clients might be facing different difficulties, but you can use the resistance stories as a form of inspiration to give them energy and hope that they can experience a better “world”.

Illustrative Stories to increase Influence

Finally, it’s about illustrating your point. Find stories that you can use that will help you illustrate the ideas, the messages that you want to communicate. It could be social proof. It could be resistance stories. It could be any other kind of story but effectively, a good story is used to illustrate the points and ideas or message that you are communicating and you want your clients and colleagues to understand.


What are the steps to take?

There are three steps that I want you to take from this article:

1. Build a Story Library

Firstly, build your story farm. Jot down and make a note of every potential story that you could tell. Think about your own experience, your client experiences and any other general stories of other people that you know that you can reference. Put that into your story file, into “a library” that you can reference when you need them.

2. Become Story Aware

Then you need to start to become story aware. As you start to work through the process and incorporate stories into your conversations and presentations, you’ll start to become aware of stories in your day to day work and you’ll see activities, things happen that will trigger you to think, “I can use that experience”. These experiences will help illustrate a potential point. So make sure you then take a note of that and constantly building up and adding to your story file.

3. Master Story telling

Finally, get good at storytelling. The only way stories are going to hurt your ability to influence if you tell them really badly. If you can tell a good story, your ability to influence and persuade others will grow exponentially. Take the time and invest in yourself to become a good storyteller so that you can share ideas and you can persuade people emotionally so that they are influenced by you.



If you would like help to become a master storyteller. If you want help to find and uncover these stories, then why not check out the great programmes and resources I have available at the Public Speaking Skills Academy. Check out the resources on the blog, my Inner Circle, or 1:1 mentoring. Each of them will help you increase your ability to influence, persuade and become the recognised leader in your field.





About The Author

Mark Kyte

Mark Kyte is a public speaking mentor and founder of the Public Speaking Skills Academy. Mark loves helping clients achieve dynamic results that help them increase their influence and get more clients. Read more of his blog and if you like what you see check out the mentoring programs.