The Art Of Storytelling
Telling the story of your brand be it professional or personal is definitely an art. And more so it is necessary! If you doubt the importance and demand for storytelling sit down with any publicist. Individuals, businesses, and other organizations small and large often invest heavily in a publicist to help craft and share their story. Marketing is great because it tells people where, why, and how to buy your product, which is you! Publicity is a separate beast because it tells people who you are and where you are going. It’s personal and it makes you relatable. However, as much as I respect a talented publicist you can and should know how to tell your own story.
Telling your story is imperative because if you don’t take this initiative the media, social media, clients, friends, or worse your doubters and naysayers will tell it for you. Conveying your story is most efficiently done when you incorporate the following:
Ask yourself two questions when you are preparing to share your story. Who is my audience? How much time do I have? Your audience could be media, potential clients, or other circles. Identify who needs to hear your story the most and know that your story will be adjusted for each unique audience. Equally important, be mindful of time. There are times such as networking where time is limited, and you need to be able to clearly state who you are and what value you bring in under 5 minutes. My advice?
· Create an elevator pitch where you can tell who you are and what you are seeking to accomplish in under 3 min.
· Create 2-3 extended versions of your story to fit unique audiences such as media, clients, or peers etc.
The best way to captivate an audience is to be transparent. The more honest and transparent you are the more relatable you are. Once you successfully relate to your audience you become likable and gain their trust. Vague stories are misleading and boring. Don’t hold back. Give your story lots of details and colorful language. Be honest and share your success and failures. Be real and earn their genuine interest.
Every good story includes a moral. Smart people are hungry for more wisdom so share yours! Articulate what you have learned over the years and explain how you apply it to your life and work. You don’t have to be an educator to educate. Use your trial and error, upsets, comeback, and skills gained to inform and empower others. It’s a win win because they get empowered and you increase your network and following because once your wisdom is attached to your name and brand you develop recurring followers and supporters.
Share you story not because you want to be placed on a pedestal and admired but because you are so grateful and humble for what you have learned throughout your journey and have a passion to influence and encourage someone else to be steadfast during their’s. The tone and effectiveness of someone seeking attention and admiration versus someone looking to pave the way for future leaders and inspire the next generation is completely different. To be honest, there is no shortage of success stories. Telling others how you are great is not unique or special, it’s boring! But sharing your redemption, your obstacles, and insisting on paving the way for others doesn’t just make you a good storyteller it makes you a good leader and person.
When telling your story become a visionary. The best stories end with “I’m not done yet”. If people are captivated by your past and current success they absolutely want a sneak peek at what is to come. Leave your audience with what value you bring and how your offerings will impact those you serve. You don’t have to give every detail away but you do want to leave your listeners intrigued and excited for your next move.
The most important part of storytelling is boldness. You don’t have to tell your story how I tell mine but you do have to DO IT! Be bold in who you are and where you are going. Control your narrative and speak up like only you can. It’s fine to have a team in place to support you but remember that storytelling is not a task easily delegated to someone else. No one can tell your story better than you! So, speak up, be bold, and allow your story to connect you with others.
If this inspires you and you want more thoughtful commentary and discussions on leadership, success, professionalism, and more subscribe to my YouTube Channel: http://bit.ly/DialogueWithDallas