When preparing for a media interview, you try to anticipate questions and develop answers to them. Of course, you want those answers to contain key messages that are memorable and relevant. One of the most effective ways to accomplish this is to incorporate a personal story into your answers.

We found a perfect example of this in an interview with retired U.S. Admiral James Stavridis, the former NATO Supreme Allied Commander. The topic of the interview was how to break the Russian embargo on shipments of grain from Ukraine. Stavridis proposes using U.S. or NATO warships to protect Ukrainian vessels carrying grain. He tells his own story of how he used a similar tactic to protect oil shipments when he was a young naval officer. View the clip below.

In telling his story, Stavridis adds credibility to both himself and his proposal on evading the Russian embargo. Relating his experience makes his message much more compelling. Of course, you can’t include a personal story in every answer. But when it’s possible, do it! You will pique the interest of your audience and make them more receptive to your key message.