What is Your Story?

No matter what your walk of life, no matter what you do and no matter who want to influence on any topic  – learning to be a good storyteller can make a world of a difference between whether people are persuaded by your ideas or not.

Here’s a case in point:

I recently had the privilege of speaking at a National Stammering Awareness Day in Dublin and loved their theme of “A Voice And Something to Say”…

…Which was all about encouraging event participants to discover ways to overcome fears, to speak up and to tell their stories.

And if you’d been there with me that day – I expect you would have been mesmerized, as I was, by the many audience members who took up a challenge to speak during an open mic session.

Although I was one of the few attendees who has never had a stammer  – I found myself at the edge of my seat as I listened to those ‘who do’ having the courage to stand up and say something to the audience.

And this had nothing to do with the obvious bravery shown by the speakers who took the mic.

It was because story after story shared by those who put themselves forward – individually and collectively – offered something of immense value to the audience.

They offered hope, insights into how things could be and ways in which common problems might be addressed and overcome.

We heard stories of difficult journeys taken, seemingly insurmountable obstacles encountered, what it took to move beyond the tempting sanctuary of avoidance, failures confronted and descriptions of roads still to be taken…

…And all of these in the light of uncertainty as to whether these efforts could bring any success or indeed what different levels of success might look or sound like.

Every story – so many told with great humour – was important, had a message worth sharing and left us (the audience) better off for having heard them.

They provided a perfect example of how and why good storytelling is so valued in corporations, organisations and social groups – as they help speakers to:

  • Win and keep audience attention
  • Engage at an emotional level with those who hear them
  • Motivate people to remember more and act on ideas that are shared

What stories have you heard other share that struck a chord with you? And why?

About Eamonn O'Brien

Public speaking master, Eamonn O'Brien is the founder of The Reluctant Speakers Club.