One of the biggest mistakes that speakers make in telling stories is not driving home the point to the listener at the end.

One of our coaches was working recently with a college student who was preparing for a round of job interviews. He had a nice story about how his athletic achievements in college showed that he would be a hard worker. He told a story about getting up before classes for two-hour long practice sessions and then having two-hour long practice sessions after classes as well. It was a compelling story.

The problem was that when he finished the story, he didn’t drive home the point with what it all means for the listener — in this case the prospective employer.

He needed to end the story by saying, “My point is that I’m not afraid of hard work and I’ll put in the hours at your company needed to be successful.”

The point of your story isn’t always obvious to your listener. That’s why you need to drive it home at the end.

Speechworks is a communication and selling skills coaching firm. We teach professionals how to craft and deliver complex messages in a simple, persuasive manner. Since 1986, through workshops and one-on-one instruction, we have helped countless individuals become better presenters and communicators. You can reach us at 404.266.0888, or on the web at

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