Episode 134

How to Captivate with Stories and Stagecraft

I’m walking off the stage after giving a Keynote at a Southern California university. A few of the audience members make their way over to me. 

“Kymberlee,” one of them says, “Your presentation was so captivating! I was glued to your every word.”

I worked very hard on this particular Talk, so getting this feedback feels amazing! And as I’m driving away from the event, I start thinking about what exactly made it so captivating.

Was it the stories I told? Or how I moved on stage? Or something else?

The analytical side of my brain kicks in and starts trying to reverse-engineer the Talk that earned me such a glowing review. And I realize that I made several critical choices that, joined together, form a blueprint for being captivating on stage.

So today on the Storytelling School Podcast, you’ll learn strategies to help you dial into your own captivation skills so you too can experience your audience’s unwavering attention. You’ll also discover:

What mistake do many speakers and storytellers make when beginning their presentation? How can you stop your audience in their tracks right away? How do you use visuals to enhance (and not take away from) your audience’s experience? What’s one captivation technique that many speakers and storytellers aren’t taught? And how do you “earn the right to deliver the next section” of your Talk to your audience?

What you will learn in this episode:

  • How to use storytelling to maintain your audience’s attention throughout your Talk
  • How different delivery techniques and vocal variety can keep your audience engaged
  • How to keep your audience engaged through the use of exercises

A little bit about me.

Hi there. I’m Kymberlee.

As a Speaking Strategist and founder of Storytelling School, I’ve had the pleasure of working with over 500 speakers, business leaders, and entrepreneurs worldwide for over a decade. No matter if those folks were getting ready to take the TED or TEDx stage or preparing for a high-stakes presentation with everything on the line, my specialty is High Stakes Short Form Communication. I’ve seen what works when influencing change and what doesn’t. It turns out storytelling is one of the most powerful tools you can have in your arsenal. That’s why I’m building a movement of master storytellers to affect change in the world on a global scale to help people tell real stories that have influence and impact. With effective storytelling, you change people’s lives.

Since competition for potential client attention is fierce, a story can make the difference between being memorable or irrelevant. You’ll find me sharing my matcha tea mishap to discuss perfectionism, my quest for Bruce Lee and Hello Kitty art to explore kindness, or the six months of live blade training I underwent to illustrate presence. I spend my days showing the power of using stories to help cement ideas and bring lessons to life and teaching my clients to do the same.

If you think business owners can’t tell stories or don’t have stories to share with their clients, staff, donors, followers, or investors, I invite you to reconsider your perspective. There’s no better place than in business to tell your stories so audiences, no matter how big or small, can understand how you think and what you value.

Now it’s your turn… If you’re ready to become a master storyteller and effect change in our world, you’ve come to the right place.

Want to take your storytelling skills to the next level?

I've got your back!

Learn how to craft a story that will make your brand unforgettable

The Proven 5-step process to captivate any audience


my proven 5-step process for short-form storytelling that you can apply to your stories forever


and craft your own Spotlight Story that you can use in a plethora of scenarios


on where and why to use storytelling in a variety of business situations to become unforgettable


clarity on the most common mistakes storytellers make and learn how to avoid those

...and so much more!

I want to stand out!

The best storytellers are memorable for a reason.

Traver Boehm

2-time TEDx Speaker, Author, Coach, and Founder of the Uncivilized Movement

Mo Barrett

TEDx Speaker, Anecdotist, Connector, Mischief-maker, Retired Military Commander, Keynote Speaker

Katy Stevens

Musician, Performer, Recording Artist, Voice Teacher

Greg Smith

TEDx Youngstown Organizer and Voice Coach, Chairman and CCO of Compco

Than Baardson

Entrepreneur, Speaker, Connector, CEO of Unseen, Humanitarian

Cathy Sommerville

TEDx Speaker, Coach, Advisor, Leader, Author, Vice President


I'm ready to stand out!