Episode 174

How to Turn Questions into Storytelling Opportunities: The Handshake Technique

“Kymberlee, how are you always able to take questions and turn them into storytelling opportunities?”

That’s the question my client Claire asks me as we’re getting her ready for a big keynote presentation. As I’m quickly thinking about how to answer her, I realize that I mostly do it unconsciously. Yet I know that’s not really a helpful answer, so I replay in my mind the times I’ve recently turned a question into a story.

Then it hits me: I’ve been building bridges from questions asked to times in my life that are in some way related to the questions… during handshake moments. 

So I explain my thought process to Claire who, during our next coaching sessions, reports that she’s been binging on my technique to great fun and success. She feels like every time she turns a question into a storytelling opportunity, her connection with that other person goes deeper faster.

In this installment of the “Storytelling 7 Series” on the Storytelling School Podcast, you’ll learn about how you can turn questions into storytelling opportunities, too. I’ll also answer questions like:

How can you understand the concept of a handshake as it relates to questions and storytelling? What practical tips can help you improve your storytelling skills with the Handshake Technique? And how do you make your story responses more engaging and relatable using this technique?

What you will learn in this episode:

  • How to connect questions to stories using the Handshake Technique
  • How to hone your storytelling skills by classifying and building story arsenals
  • How to make storytelling through this technique more natural and effective

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 teach 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?

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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!