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Improve your storytelling by using better verbs

20-Jun / Public Speaking Delivery-Speech Writing-Storytelling / 0 COMMENTS

One easy way to improve your storytelling: Use better verbs to power the stories in your presentations

Stories are an essential part to any good speech. Too many times, though, stories fall flat through bland descriptions. When describing an action, many turn to adverbs or using generic verbs. To make a better speech, improve your storytelling.

Imagine describing someone walking down the street. A storyteller might say, “He walked down the street,” or “he walked quickly down the street.” Neither of those descriptions evokes a memorable image.

The solution? Use better verbs and get rid of adverbs to improve your storytelling.

Try to imagine the following sentences in place of “he walked down the street.”

He wandered down the street.
He strolled down the street.
He ambled down the street.

Notice how it was only the verb that changed and that one small change created a new image in your mind. The same thing will happen with your audience when you use more powerful verbs. You want verbs that create pictures in a person’s head–ones where a single word changes the meaning of a sentence. Rather than use adverbs and adjectives to paint a scene, look to the verbs to make your storytelling better.

It’s important to always be on the lookout for verbs to improve your storytelling. Rather than read the writing of your industry, look outside to works of fiction. You will find writers who use interesting verbs that evoke images; notice which ones and see if they will fit into your writing. At the least, create a swipe file of great verbs and turns of phrase that can inspire your next sentence or paragraph. There are great verbs all around us but the problem in any industry is that jargon creeps in and walls out verbal creativity. Stick out from the rest with writing that tells better stories using better verbs.

Need help to improve your storytelling for your next speech?

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Eddie Rice

Eddie Rice

Eddie is a speechwriter and public speaking coach. His clients include CEOs, college presidents, business owners, and government officials. Email him: eddie@customspeechwriting.com
Eddie Rice

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