In the past few months, the same theme has been coming up in my life whether that be at a conference I've attended or in talking to a friend: Storytelling. And when life so strongly pulls me in a particular direction, I roll with it. So, here's what I've learned so far on my journey to becoming a better storyteller.
Contrary to popular beliefs, our attention spans are not shorter. We just expect higher quality than before if we’re going to invest our time in consuming something.
When it comes to making your message viral, quantity can often lead to quality and that quality is what will be shared. When in doubt, put it all out there and let the users decide what’s quality to them.
Grow your audience by borrowing from someone else’s. Learned an amazing new way to do something from someone else? Steal it. Use everything you’ve learned from other people, don’t try to reinvent the wheel when you don’t have to.
People now want to see the process just as much as the end result. They want a behind the scenes look.
When telling a story, sometimes it’s more important to be the witness than the star.
Telling your story with a little TED-like magic (BREW Conference 2017)
When shaping your story or message, make sure to connect your “reason for being” with their “reason for caring.”
Start with the “So what? Why should they care?” Finish this statement: When I say goodbye to this person, they will know that I…
We hope to either awaken the audience’s consciousness to a new way of thinking or persuade them to take action. To do that, we need to start with the end in mind. What do you want to accomplish during a networking event or pitch?
What’s your throughline? Finish this statement: My unifying central message is…
Most encounters are brief, and so are your opportunities to connect with people. You can’t pack your entire worth into a single moment so you need to have a crystal clear central message. When you have this in place, no matter where the conversation goes, you will be able to naturally weave in your message throughout while adding emotional depth and building authentic rapport.
What’s the Powerbite? My Powerbite is…
To make your message stick, you need a foundational phrase that best accesses the audience you are encountering in that moment. If your most valuable audience member were to succinctly recount your message to someone else, what would they say? What would you want their tweet to say about you? In today’s world, what’s your #hashtag?
Build your story.
Internalize it (don’t memorize it).
Share, BUT also, customize it.
Remember, when you’re sharing your story make it relevant to the person you’re speaking to. People are innately selfish so they prefer to hear and talk about themselves. Customize your story for them.