I’m often asked, “When it comes to deciding what story to tell, where do I start?”
Powerful stories are those that touch people, that touch people with a personal experience shared in a memorable workplace message, what we call your Better Tomorrow Message TM.
When you are thinking about your next opportunity to communicate, especially a high stakes one, tell a story or two stories. It should be a story that will help advance your agenda. Think of personal experiences that truly changed you. A high stakes opportunity could be a conference presentation, board meeting, big report, quarterly town hall, all-hands meeting, and so many more)
SELECT A PERSONAL EXPERIENCE STILL AFFECTING YOU TODAY
These personal experiences are times in your life where you gained new insights and where you changed because of these new insights. These insights should be profound such that they still affect your thinking and actions today.
Your teenage years are generally the best place to start. Teenage years were generally your formative years, where you had many, diverse life experiences.
Then, take these experience moments and turn them into workplace business stories with a specific message (Better Tomorrow Message TM), a specific idea, a specific action you want your audiences to take. I call these Purpose Stories–stories told on purpose, to illustrate a point. In comparison, low(er) impact stories are Today Stories.
SUGGESTIONS FOR PERSONAL EXPERIENCE STORIES
Here are some suggestions to spur some creativity. Select an experience moment that will be relevant to your purpose and resonate with your audience.
|Firsts||First win, first loss (playing sports, hobby, tournament), first job, first promotion|
|Relatives||Grandma, Grandpa, Aunt, Uncle, Mother, Father (always great sources of stories, sayings, messages)|
|Media||Movies, books, poems, authors|
|Travel||New city, new country, new food, new language|
FURTHER READING ON BUSINESS STORYTELLING
- An Easy Way to Start a Presentation, Share a “Today Story”
- Save Your First Starfish – Ignite Your Team’s Passion With A Good Story
- “Pause” with Purpose in Speaking, Training, and Storytelling
Photography Source: DepositPhotos