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Turn Your Personal Experience into an Engaging, Powerful Story

By November 5, 2018March 30th, 2020No Comments
three executives, two men, one woman, walking in hallway, sharing powerful stories

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.

CATEGORY EXPERIENCE MOMENTS
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

Photography Source:  DepositPhotos

Ira Koretsky

About Ira Koretsky

Ira Koretsky has built The Chief Storyteller® into one of the most recognized names in communication, especially business storytelling. He has delivered over 500 keynote presentations and workshops in nearly a dozen countries, in more than one hundred cities, across 30 plus industries. His specialties are simplifying the complex and communicating when the stakes are high. He is also an adjunct professor in public speaking and storytelling at the University of Maryland's Business School. With over 25 years of experience, he is a sought-after global speaker, trainer, consultant, and communication coach.