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How to Craft Powerful Stories for Your Live Shows

By Ian Anderson Gray

Confident Live Marketing Podcast

Episode 97

Episode Theme: Content & Marketing

February 26, 2021

EP 97 - Blog Image

Today I’m talking to David Saltzman about how to craft powerful stories for your live shows.

David is the chief transformation strategist and certified storybrand guide at Shift Shapers Strategies. He helps his clients find, clarify and deliver messages and marketing that win clients, achieve sales goals and build their businesses.

He is also the host of the award winning ShiftShapers podcast where he interviews industry and business leaders who are shaping the future.

What You’ll Learn

[9:00] How did David get into what he does today?
[12:31] What tech does David use and recommend?
[16:18] Does David have any tips for a resonating voice?
[19:25] What is a Certified StoryBrand Guide?
[21:26] Why is storytelling so important in live video?
[27:15] How can you craft a story on a live show?
[35:30] How do you plan a story with the end goal in mind?
[37:13] How to successfully improvise on a live show
[38:00] A Practical example to crafting a live story
[39:55] How important is it that we use the vocabulary of our audience?
[46:07] Anything else you want to add?

This episode is sponsored by Content10X and Restream

How Did David Get Into What He Does Today?
Listen at [09:00]

David has a long history in the insurance and employee benefits business in the States, as well as a background in radio and voice over.

“About seven and a half years ago, I was doing a stage talk to around 100 people and after people seized me for the next three days asking questions. And I thought, there’s got to be a better way to get the word out than this. And I thought I’ll do a podcast”.

After starting a podcast, he decided to focus on live streaming to learn more.

What Tech Does David Use and Recommend?
Listen at [12:31]

There is a tendency to think that you need the very best of gear to kick things off, but sometimes that can hold you back.

"I started with a blue Yeti and plugged it into a computer seven years ago and didn't know what I didn't know. Now, I have way too many microphones. Just now I’m using a Sennheiser mkh 416, which is a great all round mic, and that is going into a Rode podcaster"

You can really start a podcast with very little gear. It doesn't have to cost a fortune.

"You can have the best gear in the universe, if you’re not telling a compelling story that brings value to your community it doesn’t matter how good you sound because nobody is listening"

Does David have any tips for a Resonating Voice?
Listen at [16:18]

David has one of the most resonant voices, and one that we would all like to emulate.

"There are loads of voice coaching, and acting classes that are online, and they're all available to everybody. Nobody has a voice that's like anyone else's everyone's voice print is unique. And that's a good thing. So the best you can do is to try to work on your voice to make it as good as you can. A lot of it is just like singing."

Keep working on it.

And remember, we hear ourselves differently in real life than we do on tape. There are some microphones that are better for different types of voices.

What is a Certified Story Brand Guide?
Listen at [19:25]

After reading StoryBrand by Donald Miller a lot of things feel into place for David. He tried to implement his learnings by himself and it was a disaster.

He ended up calling Donald Miller and booking onto a Certified Story Brand Guide course.

"I've gone from entertainers to insurance, which is the bulk of my practice, to a water management company that I'm working with now. So a guide is someone that takes those principles (of Storybrand) and helps other people apply them in kind of a coaching way."

Why is Storytelling so Important in Live Video?
Listen at [21:26]

We’ve been telling stories as a species for thousands of years. It’s nothing new. That’s how history gets passed down. That’s how wisdom gets passed down.

"A good story starts with an emotional hook"

You need to use a story element to capture the listeners attention, and resonate with your audience.

"It isn’t your story. So many of us go into this thinking we're the expert, we're going to get online and we're going to convey some vast array of knowledge. But if you do that, you're just another talking head. You have to bring it to a level where it resonates with your audience."

How Can You Craft a Story On a Live Show?
Listen at [27:15]

Before you go on air, you need to craft a story and explore what journey you want to take your audience on. It starts with knowing your audience and knowing what their problem is.
Click To Tweet

Before you go on air, you need to craft a story and explore what journey you want to take your journey on. It starts with knowing your audience and knowing what their problem is.

"If you haven’t already done this, take out a piece of paper and start thinking through who your client and listener is."

StoryBrand helps you work through the components necessary to craft a live story including the customer, the problem and a plan.

How Do You Plan a Story With the End Goal in Mind?
Listen at [35:30]

In order to plan a story, you need to understand your audience and create the story with them in mind.

"I start with defining the client or the listener's problem. I start by defining it into those three buckets: external, internal and philosophical, and then I imagine what the end result could be. And I then backfill, mentally, I go through the process."

If you know what vision you want to create and you know what the listener wants then you know what steps you need to take to get from problem to solution.

How to Successfully Improvise On a Live Show
Listen at [37:13]

You do need to have a structure, but with live shows and comments you’ve also got to be able to think on your feet and improvise when necessary, which can be a skill you’ve got to learn.

"I create a blurb, and a story, which is focussed on the main problem my audience has, and how I or my guest are going to solve that problem."

This creates a structure, but it remains flexible enough that it doesn’t disturb the organic nature of the show.

How Important Is It That We Use the Vocabulary of Our Audience?
Listen at [39:55]

How you speak will depend on who your audience and client is, then you’ll have a good idea of what vocabulary is necessary to use to engage with them.

"If you start with who the listener is and what their needs are, once you know who that main character is, you will understand what vocabulary they need."

This might mean that you have to tailor your vocab if it doesn’t fit in with who your audience are. If it doesn’t resonate with them then they won’t watch or listen and won’t engage.

If you start with who the listener is and what their needs are, once you know who that main character is, you will understand what vocabulary they need.Click To Tweet

Anything Else You Want to Add?
Listen at [46:07]

It’s not about you.

"I use the Yoda analogy, I’m the guide. I’m not the main character in the story. Service to your community is what it’s all about"


StoryBrand Book
ShiftShapers Podcast

This Episode's Sponsors

This episode is sponsored by Content10X and Restream

Watch Episode 97


Restream is the complete multi-streaming suite for entrepreneurs.

With Restream you can stream to multiple platforms all at the same time. They have a plethora of destinations including:

  • LinkedIn Live
  • Facebook Live
  • YouTube Live
  • Twitch
  • Periscope and so much more

You can stream from another tool to Restream and Restream will take care of the multi-streaming for you really easily. Or you can broadcast directly from Restream to your platform of choice.

Restream also has chat, analytics and a scheduler. With the chat service you can view and engage with your audience from all the destinations you stream to.

I've been really blown away by the Analytics section - this shows your stream metrics - now many viewers, watched minutes, new followers and more.
And finally, the scheduler allows you to broadcast pre-recorded video live.

To sign up and have a play, visit


Do you want to find ways to create more content?

You won’t after you meet the team at Content 10x!

My friends at Content 10x are a specialist content repurposing agency, they can take one live-stream, or a blog post, podcast, or video, and explode it into a plethora of new platform-specific, on-brand content..

If they don’t do all of this for you via their service, they teach you how with their podcast, blog, book and toolkit!

They’re smart, responsive, creative, and effective. If you want to take the stress out of content marketing, Content 10x are the people you want to go to.

Visit to find out more.

David Saltzman

Who is David Saltzman

David Saltzman is the Chief Transformation strategist and Certified StoryBrand Guide at ShiftShapers Strategies. He helps his clients find, clarify, and deliver messages and marketing that win clients, crush sales goals and build their businesses. He is also the host of the award-winning ShiftShapers Podcast, where he interviews industry and business leaders who are shaping the future.


Connect with me

About Ian

Ian Anderson GrayIan is the founder of the Confident Live® Marketing Academy and helps entrepreneurs to level up their impact, authority and profits by using live video confidently. Seriously Social is a blog focussed on live video and social media tools. He’s an international speaker, trainer, teacher and consultant.

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