I was presenting a class last night to a group who wanted to improve their speaking skills.  We spent the last hour discussing the importance of storytelling.  One of the participants was involved in Habitat for Humanity.  As we talked, it became clearer to him that opening his apresentation with a poignant story that engages the audience is far more effective that rattling off the methodology of what Habitat does, or how they do it.  People relate to people.  The other participants in the class were a great beta test for his story.

What about you?  What personal, humorous, or pithy story do you have that will connect you to your audience from the start?  Make it easy on yourself by starting a story file.  Make a written or electronic file and chronicle all your best stories so you can have them accessible for that next speech or presentation.  It will make the difference in how you connect.