Anecdotes and stories for speeches, essays, toasts and more


An anecdote is a short story, narrative or parable often used in speeches, essays, toasts, books, articles and other written or spoken products. Anecdotes are often funny, interesting, surprising, ironic, humorous and may teach a lesson, be biographical or cause reflection. Funny or interesting anecdotes can help make your speeches or writing better, especially when used in conclusions, introductions or to prove a point. We hope our anecdotes will help you in your speeches and writing.

This inspiring anecdote could be used to talk about optimism, pessimism, negativity, positivity, making a difference, volunteers, leadership, looking on the bright side, doing what's right, helping others, perseverance, dedication, determination, selflessness, kindness, the ocean, the sea, the beach and more.


Making a difference

A man walking along the beach noticed a woman walking a ways ahead of him. He noticed her strange behavior as she walked just along the edge of the sea where the waves crashed in. The woman would walk a few steps, bend down and pick something up, and then fling it into the ocean. She would take another step, pick something else up and fling that also into the ocean. She continued at an almost manic speed. Wondering what she could be doing, he drew closer her and saw that she was picking up closed clams shells which she then threw back into the sea. He looked around and saw thousands of shells all along the shore line, and every wave brought more.

He approached her and asked her, “Why are you bothering to keep throwing those clam shells back in the ocean? Can't you see there are so many? How could you ever hope to make a difference doing that?”

She looked at him for a minute, then bent and picked up a shell and lobbed it overhand back into the waves. She looked back at him and said, “It made a world of difference for that one.”

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