I am often asked for my views on keeping the stories in a speech completely accurate as to what happened, as opposed to embellishing the story to make a great speech. My response is that while you need to be true to your stories, you must also be true to your message. Make sure that your audience remembers your message.
But it can be a fine line between embellishing a story to make it a great story, and telling an outright lie.
Darren la Croux has written a great blog post on this subject, explaining that your stories should at least be “Based on a True Story”. He says,
Have you ever noticed that Hollywood blockbusters always start off, “based on a true story?” They never start, “this is exactly how it happened.” If they told it exactly how it happened, we’d be bored!
Are you perfectly accurate when you tell your stories? The truth is important, yes. I’m not saying to lie or make things up. I just want your stories to be so memorable that people walk away clearly understanding your message.
If you are unsure how to approach this issue in your speeches, read his post; he gives a very clear an concise answer.