Stories Sell

So maybe I’m biased, being a professional storyteller (turned motivational speaker), but I am forever amazed at the power of a story. I can pass by a display thirty-six times and that smoothie maker never catches my attention. But put a guy in an apron in the corner of the store, showing me how he can get fifteen different drinks from one banana – and I’ll buy six of them – despite the fact that I don’t like bananas. I can own forty-seven pairs of black flip-flops, but when I see that woman on QVC with the pretty fingernails telling me how those rhinestone-studded flip flops changed her life – and I’m hooked. Tell me I need to give to the homeless and I’ll think about it. Let me hear someone homeless tell her story, and I not only want to give money, I want to give her a room and a seat at our Thanksgiving table. It’s the reason we get all worked up when the picked-on overweight kid gets up and sings like Pavarati. It’s the reason that children will sit for ours in your lap, asking you to read it one more time. Even God uses parables to teach us the most important lessons in life.

The point? Stories sell. No matter who you are trying to influence, it’s not the information that holds the weight. It’s how it’s wrapped – how it’s delivered.

I heard an old Jewish parable once that went something like this:

Truth, naked and cold, had been turned away from every door in the village. Her nakedness frightened the people. When Parable found her she was huddled in a corner, shivering and hungry. Taking pity on her, Parable gathered her up and took her home. There, she dressed Truth in story, warmed her and sent her out again. Clothed in story, Truth knocked again at the doors and was readily welcomed into the villagers’ houses. They invited her to eat at their tables and warm herself by their fires.

So as you go about your job, career, or life, sharing your truth, take the time to wrap it in story. You just might find it easier to get in the door.


Motivational Speaker Kelly Swanson - called one of North Carolina's funniest women by Our State Magazine. Kelly lifts the spirits of audiences from coast-to-coast using humor, storytelling, and lives of the characters from Prides Hollow - Kelly's make believe small town. This unique approach to motivational speaking allows Kelly to break through communications barriers and connect directly to the audience's imagination.
Her powerful stories and wacky wit will make you laugh, remind you that you matter, show you how to see beyond your obstacles, and teach you how to stand up and stick out in a crowded market.
To book motivational speaker Kelly Swanson:
Motivational speaker Kelly Swanson's website

Did you enjoy this post? Just jot down your email and we'll keep you up-to-date with all of our motivation and entertainment.

Delivered by FeedBurner


  1. Oh nice, Kelly.  I know most good motivational speakers use stories VERY effectively, but your point is well taken – EVERYONE can use the power of a story to sell their product, service, point of view, idea or crazy garage sale item. Good stuff!

  2. I can testify to the power of stories during a performance. I’ve been in the back of the room for innumerable motivational speeches by Kelly, and I’ve watched the audience become silent, motionless, and mesmerized by one of her stories. Yep, even the texting stops! A powerful story, delivered well, captures a listener. The skill of storytelling is a  must for anyone who wants to influence others.

  3. So true, Kelly! Just working on a new story to share with AFLAC’s sales teams this Friday to show the power. Research continues to show the more savvy salespeople have a multitude of stories to draw on where less successful sales people fewer. Story on my incredible, motivational speaker storytelling friend.

Speak Your Mind