• Jose Luis Ucar

The mini-stories system for Public Speaking

Updated: 5 days ago

The content of your presentation is very important and it needs to be delivered in a form that your audience will remember. Great stories have been proven to be the most effective way to accomplish this. The best speakers out there tell the most exciting stories about personal events and other experiences they've had. As Steve Jobs once said: "The most powerful person in the world is the storyteller".

Always be sure that the story you tell is tied directly to the points you wish to make and it's also good practice to remind the audience of your point when you finish the story.

The world's best speakers never write a speech in a linear fashion. These professionals use a system developed over 50 years ago by The Father of Professional Speaking, Bill Gove, called "the vignette system".

The vignette system

A vignette is a mini-story comprised of an example in story form. Each vignette has a premise, a problem and a payoff and it has the ability to stand on its own as an entire speech, if you wish to. Some of the best vignettes are made up of personal humorous stories delivered as illustrations of the point you are making.

You can also create vignettes using other people's stories, successful businesses' and even

fairy tales. For example, when I speak about purpose in business, I always like to share the story of TOMS®, a shoe manufacturer that donates $1 for every $3 they make. Feel free to pick the story that best highlights your point.

Once you have your vignette, I would recommend that you time it, memorise it and file it for future presentations. Professional speakers and presenters don't tend to rehearse their entire talks; they rehearse their vignettes and then connect them together based on the length and content of their speech.

It's important that you test your mini-stories in front of live audiences to gain feedback and to make the necessary adjustments that will turn them into great presentations. I also invite you to record yourself and to share your mini-stories with friends and family to test them. The more you test and hone them, the more powerful they will become.

Finally, instead of sitting down and writing out your 15 or 45 minutes talk all in one go, build the habit of keeping a journal with you, and when you have some inspiration time, begin writing vignettes that drive home a specific point. Compile them into a log and then when you need the right story for the session or presentation you are creating, it will be there waiting for you. This is a master tip from Steve Siebold, a world-renowned financial expert, professional speaker and author of "How Rich People Think."

To craft your mini-stories I would like to introduce the IPS 'U' in honour of my surname (Ucar). As described above, a vignette is comprised of a premise, a problem and a payoff or in my model, an introduction, a problem and a solution. In very plain terms, beginning, middle and end.

For example, people tend to say to me that I look very confident and can't imagine that I may have ever struggled to speak in front of an audience (intro). Of course, I did, things weren't always as they are today, I struggled and even left presentations half-finished due to my lack of confidence (problem). That's one of the reasons why I decided to enrol on different training courses because I promised myself I would never go through that situation again. My TEDx was at the time the result of an exciting journey that allowed me once more to realise and appreciate how far I'd come (solution).

The IPS U model

You now count on the structure to start creating your mini-stories, fantastic. How about you get started right away?

I have a challenge for you.

Craft a fairy tale or a superhero story that describes how you would like the life of your dreams to be. It can also be about how you would like an area of your life to be different. Make it about anything you like. Use your imagination and enjoy the process. Once the story is ready, pull out your phone and film yourself. You can then give yourself feedback or ask a friend or colleague to share their opinion.

I'm more than happy to provide feedback. You can contact me by either email ( or WhatsApp (+44 (0) 7383436826).

Challenge accepted?

If you wish to learn more about how to craft stories and winning presentations, check out my training courses here:

Jose Ucar Online Training Courses

66 views0 comments