In last week’s blog, we talked about storytelling and how impactful it can be, whether you’re talking to an audience of 1 or 1,000. But how do you find your stories? Where do you even begin?
With a universal truth – that’s where!
A universal truth is a feeling or action or emotion that just about everyone has experienced and can identify with. Think about anger, love, jealousy, and things like that. Some of the topics that can help you get started are:
- Sibling rivalry
- An embarrassing situation
- What you studied in school
- First job or promotion
- A bad customer service experience
- An interesting trip or business meeting
You get the idea. The above examples are very relatable because most people have had a new car, a first job, etc.
I heard of this great example:
Sallie Krawcheck is the former CEO of Citigroup’s Global Wealth Management division. Through her speeches, she connects with people by telling a story that anyone can identify with. She talks about feeling like an outcast at her all-girls school as a teenager – with glasses, braces, and corrective shoes – and how that prepared her for the challenges of her professional life. She once said: “there was nothing they could do to me at Salomon Brothers in the ’80s that was worse than the seventh grade.”
Get the idea?
Remember, each story must have a beginning, a middle and an end. A good formula to follow is to have a LIKEABLE HERO who ENCOUNTERS ROADBLOCKS and EMERGES TRANSFORMED.
You can also apply that to your own life, here’s a suggestion that will help you take that first step:
First, write down your struggle or your challenge:
Second, write your success – how did you overcome your challenge and bounce back:
Play around with these ideas, suggestions and formulas and see what you come up with. Next week I’ll share some info on how to make your story come to life when you actually tell it out loud. You will have your listeners sitting on the edge of their seats!