by Jean McDonald, DTM and Elena Brenna, ACS

Think about your favorite speakers. They display body language, gestures and vocal variety skills. But why are they memorable? You remember the stories they tell.

From an early age, we hear stories. Parents, teachers, and preachers know it’s easier to recall knowledge and lessons conveyed through stories. What works for children, works for adults. “Stories go straight to the heart as information delivered in other ways simply can’t replicate,” says actor and speaking coach Gary Genard.

Kindra Hall, author of Stories that Stick, says, “Storytelling is the critical skill of the 21st century. Being a better storyteller, knowing how to connect with people in an irresistible way, will make you the type of influential person who can be a better leader, a better marketer, a better seller, and be a better PERSON in business.” Kindra spoke at the 2017 Toastmasters International Convention in Vancouver, BC. She was memorable – as was her story about how she was first introduced to Toastmasters while waiting tables. In addition to being a bestselling author, she is President and Chief Storytelling Officer at Steller Collective consulting firm, focused on the strategic application of storytelling to today’s communication challenges. 

Telling stories can take you a long way! We have two great storytellers coming to District 32 (virtually) in July. Come learn from professional speakers Anne-Louise Sterry and Dennis Bauer. Each has been invited to present at clubs in District 32. Both clubs invite all interested Toastmasters to join these Zoom events. 

July 30, Noon – 1:30 pm 

Storyteller Anne-Louise Sterry, performs part of her alter-ego “Aunt Lena” show and conducts a basic storytelling workshop for Jefferson County Toastmasters. Sign up for Anne-Louise’s event at this Eventbrite link:

 July 30, 7:00 – 9:00 pm 

At Professionally Speaking Toastmasters, motivational and keynote speaker Dennis Bauer presents “Creating and Selling Stories that Sizzle.” He’ll reveal the ten elements of telling a story that sizzles. Dennis will also speak about how to get a book published and become a bestselling author. His bestseller is Fumes and a Prayer: How to Live at the Edge and Still Be Home for Dinner. His newest book, Flight Plan: Peak Performance in Turbulent Times, comes out this month. Sign up for his presentation at Eventbrite: Dennis Bauer at Professionally Speaking

Both events are free; you can come to one or both. For more information, contact Jean McDonald ( or call/text 360-789-7691). 

Storytelling is the critical skill of the 21st century – let’s learn to do it well!