Tips to Create a Powerful Message – Part 1

I’m very excited to do something I’ve never done before–share a series of blogs over the next several weeks about the 5 steps to create a powerful message. Be sure to grab your notepad and pen as you DO NOT want to miss any of these upcoming blogs! 

Whether you’ve stepped on my campus (live or virtual), you know I’ve been focusing a lot of my energy toward helping people become master orators and unforgettable speakers. You can always jump into a program to learn more and go deeper, but for now, I want to at least be able to introduce you to some techniques to help you master your messaging. 

Whether it is speaking to one person in a conversation, or to many from a stage, it takes a lot of thoughtful pieces to create a powerful message. I’ve created 17 techniques that really make up the science of unforgettable speaking, but these top 5 are truly the anchors and framework for delivering a great message or speech. 

Step 1 — Creating a clear distinction between your content and your stories.

You need to have both content and stories. Content delivers value, but stories deliver connection. Some of the best speakers out there are doing one, but not both—they are either all content or all stories. Most people deliver all content with very little opportunity to make real connections with their audience. So, let’s unpack that a bit further.

Content

You deliver content because it’s the intellectual learning that you’re going to teach your audience. Whether it’s new concepts or theories, content provides your audience with insights to move forward. Your content is typically why they follow you as an expert, coach, or leader–because you have insights on topics like neuro-linguistic programming, behavior management, media marketing, personal perseverance, or transformation. You are the content provider for that body of work, meaning your intellectual property will help move them forward in their life in that area. Content is super important.

The mistake most speakers and presenters make is that they give you all that content and you walk away with value, but you missed a huge part of the connection with the speaker. That comes from the story. 

Story

The story is the experience that you share that grounds in the content and makes it real. If you are sharing a story about a time in your life, it does not necessarily have to tie directly into the content. Your story gives the content context, 3D, and texture. The story is what brings the content to life. The story is what allows the audience to see themselves in you. It creates the vibration and the energy exchange. The content creates an intellectual exchange, whereas the story creates an energy exchange.  

When people connect to your story, they will respect and be loyal to you. Those two things are the biggest missing link most presenters lack. Why? Because sharing a story requires vulnerability. To deliver a really great story, you must be able to access some level of emotion, some level of transparency. Most presenters (either online, virtually or on a live stage, sometimes even in ministry or business) have walls up. 

Powerful stories support your content and seal it. Here is an example of how a story can support the content if I were giving a speech on finances. “Content” might be about measuring your finances and knowing where your finances are. “Story” might be about your willingness to step in and adjust things if you are spending too much or not enough. Then, I add in  a story:

There was a time in my life when I didn’t know where my finances were. I tended to wish, hope, and pray that I didn’t run out of money before the end of the month. I would come home from a speaking event early in my career, and I would pray that when I opened the door and flipped the switch that the lights would come on. 

I gave you content and added in a story or an experience to give context and establish a connection. You want to make a clear distinction between the two and not have them mesh to the point where you can’t tell where the content ends, and the story begins. You want to create a nice flow.

There are 4 more steps to creating a powerful message coming over the next several weeks, so please make sure you come back each week. 

I love reading your comments. I love seeing you engage. I love when you tell me how you feel or how each new topic relates to your life. So please continue to comment below as they mean everything to me. Is content vs. story something you’ve been working on? Have you ever heard someone speak who only delivered content?  Let me know your big AHA or how you can use a story to enhance your content. 

Remember, this is your home. We’re your tribe, and I’m your sister in prosperity and possibility

I love you and I believe in you.

63 replies
  1. Federico Rico Poveda
    Federico Rico Poveda says:

    Hello lisa
    I admire you a lot and I identify a lot with your diaper story.
    I am starting a new project, starting from the minus zero level.
    I have stories, however, I still have no results.
    Can you give a speech like that?
    I love you
    Thank you

    Reply
  2. Kehinde Oni
    Kehinde Oni says:

    Hi Lisa
    Thanks for this insight!
    This is a time in my content creation journey when I need to start implementing stories and content to boost engagement.
    For a long time I have shyed away from sharing personal stories I only post contents for my audience and this has really affected the way my audience engage with my content, they only take from me and don’t engage. I just finished expert secrets by Russell Brunson and from the book I realized what I need to do in spicing things up for my audience to relate and see me as an attractive character.
    Your blog post said it all!
    Looking forward to the next one.

    Reply
  3. Mark Simmons
    Mark Simmons says:

    Hello Lisa:
    This is an excellent teaching as it creates a resonant field for the listener can step into, allowing them to see themselves as an equal participant in your journey, experiencing both the tribulation and the triumph. Once they can visualize themselves climbing the mountain they are ready to take the first step. Bravo!!

    Reply
  4. Tammie Fleming
    Tammie Fleming says:

    Thanks Lisa for sharing these great techniques that will enhance us as we’re perfecting ourselves to deliver truth and transparency to our assigned audience. Your willingness to help mean sooo much. Thanks for not being a hoarder. You’re filled with precious gems. I’ve been so blessed by the content you’re so graciously sharing…Continuous blessings of peace and prosperity!

    Reply
  5. June
    June says:

    I’ve watched you from the beginning. Your change is amazing. I want to emulate your transformation as a speaker. I already speak publicly. I’ve paid a lot of money for training in the past. I’m 74 and ready to go out and speak and travel. I have sooo many stories. I don’t want a cookie cutter class sold to a million people so the originator can make a fast buck

    Reply
  6. Dolores Robinson
    Dolores Robinson says:

    Thanks for sharing Lisa.
    I am great at creating content but didn’t know that adding stories could connect and sink the content to make the content relevant and memorable.
    FYI… You are aging backwards beautifully.

    Reply
  7. Paula Centofanti
    Paula Centofanti says:

    Hi Lisa!
    Thank you! I finally understood how and why the story is so critical to keep your clients coming back or to even just embody the information. Your example was so smooth and flowing and organic, it does not need to be excessive or forced. And that small example created an emotional connection between us which made me feel safe and wanting to learn more!

    Reply
  8. Nicolette Moore
    Nicolette Moore says:

    Lisa,
    As always, this is so beautiful. I love stories so much, and when someone can tell a powerful story within the context of training content, it really brings it all home. I know exactly what you’re talking about and I love the way you have broken it down.
    Thank you for showing up and sharing this. Like most of the content you put out, it came right on time.
    Love you!
    Nicolette

    Reply
  9. Sumi
    Sumi says:

    Thank you Lisa. This is v valuable information. Especially the part of having a clear distinction between the content and the stories.
    Thank you. Looking forward to the next lesson

    Reply
  10. Anne
    Anne says:

    Hi Lisa. I’m just getting started writing an on line course and this was sooooo helpful. I’ve always tended to stay formal in my teaching, but this has shown me how to incorporate my stories. Thank you

    Reply
  11. Hudson Robinson
    Hudson Robinson says:

    Hi Lisa,
    I am in the Speaking for Ultimate Impact and Profit tribe preparing for our November training, and I covered this in one of the homework assignments with my Accountability group. We were challenged in understanding the science of Story-Content connection for a few days, then we figured it out. However, I come to realize that every opportunity presented to hear or see you teach another lesson or share your experience one more time bring more clarity and increases my understanding of the work that is required to become an unforgetable speaker.
    I am blessed to be on this journey with you.

    Reply
  12. Cheryl Dian
    Cheryl Dian says:

    Hi Lisa,
    Lovely to hear yout voice as always
    First of all thank you for clarifying what g.o.a.t means, in Trinidad a goat is a smelly animal lol!
    I’ ve been on your campus a few times live in San Diego 2018 .
    I’ve been struggling with separating content from story and I had a BOL moment when you demonstrated the difference.can’t wait for the other episodes
    Thank you

    Reply
  13. Henry Abrahams
    Henry Abrahams says:

    Its an AHA moments and creates so much context .I will most definitely be aware and apply this framework in my work and personal environment. This should most definitely show results in performance,productivity and employees that feels valued as you are transparent and they can connect with you on a personal level aswell as in your personal relations you want to be open and honest so people can trust you.It will create a culture of loyal ,trustworthy and valued individuals.

    Reply
  14. Maria Spataru
    Maria Spataru says:

    Hi, Lisa
    My AHA is content, story, content while content provide intellectually exchange story provide energy exchange. I am working (for the moment! ) in an company where there are delivered, at each project related presentation, only content. I tryied to make my own “warmer” but did not know how, especially because people consider emotion means not profesional. But for me emosions means first more attention from audience, more pleasure to follow a presentation and more learning remains after.
    Your firts tip will motivate me to go on with this approach and made me more clear about the way to implement (the challenge will be to put a personal story into a project presentation!) . Thank you
    Maria

    Reply
  15. Sabine Bredemeyer
    Sabine Bredemeyer says:

    Hello from Germany, dear Lisa,
    I am following you since some years, did your online-courses, listened to your contributions in YOM with Marcy and Dr. Sue and learned so so much from you. AND: I always get shy when I hear you because a small voice in me says: you will never get so great like Lisa … ok, ok, I KNOW: don’t compare. I just admire you.

    Concerning this topic – content and stories: Yes, I learned it from you before and this clear distinction makes it even more clear. My challenge with it: I have so so much to say, I have a LOT of content (a formula with 5 steps for leaders to become a happy leader 🙂 ) and I have many many stories. So … when I have 45 minutes as a speaker then I can’t even tell enough insightful stories that make the content so lively … I wonder: how should the content : stories ratio be laid out. But I’m sure you will talk about that later 🙂
    Big thank you Lisa for sharing your vast knowledge so generously

    Sabine

    Reply
  16. Lynette McDonald
    Lynette McDonald says:

    Hi Lisa, thanks for this message today! It was right on time. Thanks for sharing yourself with the tribe and with the world.

    Reply
  17. Zoé
    Zoé says:

    Thank you Lisa,
    That is so true!
    I tend to put a lot of content to avoid stories. It is not easy to show vulnerability by telling personal stories.
    I am very happy and so grateful to be here to learn.
    Many thanks for being you, really inspiring to listen and watch you on stage.

    Reply
  18. Alicia Roldán
    Alicia Roldán says:

    This first episode is really important and make me think about lots of speeches I have been listening to and perfectly identify why I’m not connecting with them or I’m connecting with them and everything comes to this point: Content and stories.
    Listening your example about finances, I love it because changed everything. I connected with my feelings about finances and the situations I had been and it was magical. I can say that also the story help you to transform a difficult subject or life situation in to a positive and push you to do it whatever you need to move forward.
    I’m working in my first course and this is gold!!! Thanks Lisa.

    Reply
  19. Olga
    Olga says:

    Hi Mrs Lisa2motivate

    I can’t stop growing because of your love you are sharing with us each day. I love you so much and I never dim my light since I know you and follow your teaching.
    Thank you for always being so supportive and caring for us.
    #YANA
    #southafrica

    Reply
  20. Darja Mesarić
    Darja Mesarić says:

    Dear Lisa,
    Thank You from the Heart, for sharing Your amazing advices! I’ve been following You for quite some time, on Mindvalley, via webinars, wherever Your smiling face and inspired joyful voice shows up! I have learned sooo much from You, which really helped me to improve my speaking, as well as my writing skills. I’ve always loved writing, and speaking, but Your advice/s helped me to articualate my story and my message better, especially as I ‘ve opened a heart centered business where my message and the words I use are as important as the handmade things that I sell and make a living from. Your teachings are really helping me to find balance between the content and story, to include both of them, but not too much of any of them!!! Thank You Sister!!!
    Love and Blessings,
    Darja

    Reply
  21. Victoria
    Victoria says:

    Your guidance and experience helps me always. I share the content and the story.
    I need to listen more. And developed an audience. Im not comfortable on stage, YET! Your wisdom with action is leading me there. Podcast coming soon

    Reply
  22. Saveda Beswick
    Saveda Beswick says:

    Hey, Lisa, This video was truly an eye-opener for me because I am just now walking in my season of growing & now I’m putting all the connections together. I was afraid for a very long time that people really wouldn’t listen to what I needed to share. Now that I have the confidence to share more valuable information just beside my story because the content is intellectual learning for my audience. Thank you, So much for being available to our creator. Love Coach SaVeda.

    Reply
  23. Denise Grant
    Denise Grant says:

    Hi Lisa,
    I am new to the tribe. Thank you for this opportunity. It is a pleasure to sit under your teaching. I have some public speaking experience, have mobilized a group of colleagues in my workplace, and have become the voice of the group. My AHA moment from your first tip is the distinction between just speaking and being an unforgettable speaker. At times, when I told stories I did not know the difference between content and story. This will certainly make a significant difference for me going forward. Looking forward to the next episode.

    Reply
  24. Bea
    Bea says:

    Hi Liza.❤️
    I thank God for the life of you, you’ve been sharing to the world and to me.

    That step 1 is so helpful to me. I have the tendency to mix up the the content and the story that at times it’s difficult to distinguish one from the other. Or sometimes I only dwell only the story because it is what I richly have but I lack the content.

    Learning from you previously and this, it is becoming clear to me how to do it better. I crafted my 8 Can’t Wait Self-Mastery Must Haves (I got from you the ‘8 Can’t Wait’ concept). For over 5 years I’ve been working hard on ME (Mastering myself).
    The only thing I lack now is monetizing my capabilities.

    I am a teacher by profession but I resigned in 2012. I wasn’t my best then. What I have become in over 5 years is so much better than I was before. I am now ready to share my messAGE (from mess to a beautiful message) to the world. What I lack is the system to do so. I am also writing my book: THE POWER OF ‘I’.

    I love you Lisa. I wish I could enroll in your programs soon. I just don’t have the amount to pay for my learning fee this time. ❤️

    Reply
  25. Sonia
    Sonia says:

    I am currently working on my storyline for my website. What a
    I got from the session today was how to connect the beginning middle and end with my story. I did not say how or why I got to where I am today. I must include a bit more. So thank you.

    Reply
  26. Kimberley
    Kimberley says:

    Thanks so much Lisa! As I begin my journey to put myself out there in the world and share my knowledge and story, it was so great to see you boil it down to a simple formula!
    Thankyou!

    Reply
  27. clint chase
    clint chase says:

    BOL and YANA, When I was 17 I felt ugly and unlovable. I started smoking at 17 and connecting to the party
    crowd. I know the importance of healing the inner child, the BOL part is healing the adolescent child is important
    also. It is where a human is discovering an identity, for me that part of your life is very profound !!! Now I will bring
    this part full circle concerning what it has to do with content and story. Most of my adult life I didn’t feel confident
    and secure. I had a profound experience when I finally listened to my inner guidance and joined a toastmaster club. I had the opportunity to take part in a humorous speech contest at the local library. I did not not win or even place in top three best speeches that day but I was very proud of myself and I was very confident.
    My speech was mostly story and not much content. Lisa your video was very helpful, this is the YANA part.
    I am choosing for the opportunity to speak again on the importance of your adolescent self ” content ” and the
    story part would be about my life’s experience in having an healthy identity !!!
    Thanks again, Lisa

    Reply
  28. Comfort Talabi
    Comfort Talabi says:

    Hi Lisa,

    Thank you for clarifying between content and story. I am battling with this in delivering my message. The area that I want to focus on is Finance and I am still in my early stage. I want to educate people to create their financial freedom but vulnerability is not an easy thing because of people’s judgement. But, I know that I cannot deliver without telling my story so that people can relate to me. I want to take other people in the journey with me so that we all grow together and create our Financial freedom. Thank you for the great job that you’re doing, God bless you

    Reply
  29. Dr George Akinkuoye
    Dr George Akinkuoye says:

    Nice and wonderful illustration. Lisa is a great teacher and illustrator. Always brings her points home with wonderful stories. Love it

    Reply
  30. Gaynell
    Gaynell says:

    Thanks for sharing! It’s amazing how you give so freely of your time and information to others to grow and develop themselves. God Bless!!!

    Reply
  31. Shaunda J Howerton
    Shaunda J Howerton says:

    I have been working on this concept. I need to work on making a clearer distinction between the two so they don’t mesh so much that the audience is unable to grab the action steps…i.e. the content. Thanks.

    Reply
  32. KeOnda
    KeOnda says:

    Thank you so much for this. I am a podcast host with no prior speaking experience other than real life experiences. This truly helps me with connecting with my audience! Thanks Lisa!

    Reply
  33. Tam
    Tam says:

    I am just starting to focus my energy in the space of speaking. For a long time I’ve ignored it. But when I go live I do lean to one side or the other but I’m determined to learn how to find the balance.

    Reply
  34. Anna
    Anna says:

    Yes!!!
    I’ve been unconsciously doing this bc personally, I want to hear a person’s personal experience of a transformation!
    I want to see that it isn’t just intellectual knowledge that they have, which is SO important for real connection! As well as me being able to trust a person & knowing “ok, I can definitely learn from them. They know what they’re talking about!”
    This is why I just absolutely love, love, love your work & what you’re all about Lisa!

    Reply
  35. Julie Waight
    Julie Waight says:

    Thank you for that super helpful tip. Ms. Lisa Nichols,I have so much admiration for you, taking the time to give positive information to people in general is awesome. I don’t know if I could afford to see you in person, single retired military mother of 3 sons. My two youngest are seniors in Highschool now, time to start doing me. I want to sell my products getting folks Well physically & mentally…
    Love your messages, on point as always. Peace & Blessings! Keep doing what you do saving lives!

    Reply
  36. Sarah
    Sarah says:

    Hi Lisa,you are a great inspiration, thank you for this information, and looking to start advertising my one on one coaching ,your information is timely, thank you, I will see video 2
    I love you too

    Reply
  37. Linda
    Linda says:

    This really touched me deep inside because I was intertwining them together and knowing the difference between the contents and the story is what I needed to know thank you Lisa baby sis.

    Reply
  38. edward ciuthi
    edward ciuthi says:

    Hello lisa….i got no better words to express my gratefulness as far as couching is concerned….i always listen so attentively to your speaking techniques and i feel it under my skin that you got what it takes for all of us to win in our speaking endevours…..Long live lisa…..you just a super miracle!!!

    Reply
  39. Angie N Valle
    Angie N Valle says:

    Thank you Lisa or such valuable and educating information. This video has educated and inspired me to be a better speaker & communicator.

    Much Love X

    Reply
  40. JOYCE ALDRIDGE
    JOYCE ALDRIDGE says:

    Fantastic information!

    I always knew that content and a personal story to connect were invaluable partners in crafting a powerful message, however you made the process clear and how to implement it in a practical and seem less manner.

    Reply
  41. Marnie B Maxwell
    Marnie B Maxwell says:

    Thank You Lisa…….I love your energy. It flows so well and the connection is awesome. Lisa Nichols….”Quitters never win…..Winners never Quit”. It was so impactful… thank you for your generous sharing. I use it to motivate me when I feel myself getting distracted…
    The world. needs so much encouragement. Women are being called to step up and Lead…..
    I send you unlimited blessings and gratitude Love….Marnie B

    Reply
  42. Meike
    Meike says:

    Hi Lisa
    Thank you for being so generous wirh your wisdom.
    I really like this 1. part
    At the moment I only have a public FB page and 99% og the time I always give a personal story to support nu point. So Thank you for explaining this so nicely.
    Love Meike

    Reply
  43. Lizsolette Williams
    Lizsolette Williams says:

    Hi Lisa!

    Thank you so much for this! I’m such a visual learner and this video really opened my eyes to the importance of content and story. I’ve never had a problem sharing my stories and teaching from my experiences but there wasn’t an understanding on how to intentionally speak to connect.

    I’m so grateful for you!

    Lizsolette

    Reply
  44. Zaneta Hunter
    Zaneta Hunter says:

    Thank you this makes so much sense. I never understood why it was easier to connect with some speakers rather than others. This is a powerful nugget cannot wait for the rest!

    Reply
  45. Cassaundra Williams-Anderson
    Cassaundra Williams-Anderson says:

    Love your energy and wisdom. I am starting a series of workshops to examine intergenerational trauma due to slavery on today’s African American women to help heal feelings of not being enough. I have lots of stories.

    Reply
  46. Alecia Danielle
    Alecia Danielle says:

    Hi Lisa,

    This is great. Content vs Story shined light on a hurdle I wasn’t sure how to get over, my delivery. I have content but working on vulnerability which as you stated a huge part in telling my story. This content has encouraged me to find a way to share my story.

    Thank you!

    Reply
  47. Lisa M. Needham
    Lisa M. Needham says:

    Wonderfully said Lisa, thanks for this. I am a singer, songwriter and storyteller and normally don’t apply this to my spoken word/storytelling talks. I get confused with thinking: ‘well if this is going to be, let’s say, a TED talk then yes, maybe there needs to be more content but on the other hand, if I am doing a 45 minute Solo show, I like to call it a One Woman Show and am thinking more story than ‘content’, where does that leave me? MUST all stories have content like you speak of or can they just be as powerful with just a story?
    Thanks, Lisa Needham

    Reply
  48. Meme
    Meme says:

    # BOL moment The story allows others to see themselves in you. It connects you with your audience. Thanks for sharing I always take away something very important in all your teachings. I also last year learned what GOAT mean thinking it was an offensive term and actuality it is a complementary term.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *