Do Your Stories Pass the Speaker Smell Test?

Do people believe your stories?

How are your ‘Spidey senses’ when it comes to sniffing out if a story you hear and then think “Fabulous. That would be perfect for my talk” is true or not? And does the word ‘real’ matter ?

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Why You Need to Start Your Stories With a Bang

Start your stories with a bangWhat’s the one thing bestselling writers like Charles Dickens, Agatha Christie, Mark Twain, JRR Tolkien, George Orwell, John Grisham, Stephen King, Lee Child, etc. have in common that greatly increased the odds their books might be hits?

And while true (since they’re the 2 biggest determinents of books people choose in book stores), you’re not allowed to say: a) They picked great book titles, and/or b) they did an awesome job with their book covers! Treat those as givens.

Of course, the clue is in today’s post title: They started their stories with a bang. They found ways to hook their audience from their first lines, paragraphs and pages and built their page turning fares from there.

And what did they not do?

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On Awesome Storytelling (Nearly) Unnoticed

Stories nearly untold - Fernando PessoaOnce upon a time…

Fernando Pessoa was born in Lisbon in 1988, moved to Durban at the age of 7 when his stepfather was made Portuguese consul, and moved back home in 1905 – where he wrote poems he thought weren’t up to much, contributed to a few literary reviews and mostly lived on the meager salary of a commercial translator.

And while he was known by a small number in Lisbon’s writing community and released one book of poems in 1934, few people bought a copy or even knew he existed. He died at just 47 years of age of cirrhosis of the liver.

…The end!

Perhaps you’re thinking: What a rubbish story Eamonn. I know it’s a bit sad but, seriously, why exactly are you telling me about a man who went unnoticed in life?

Well, that should have been the last anyone heard of Fernando, but it wasn’t!

Too Many Believe Their Stories Aren’t Good Enough or Interesting

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9 Business Storytelling Tips From Master Storyteller Doug Stevenson. Podcast 86

When asked for storytelling tips, here’s one of my favourite questions: “Where can I find a perfect story when I need one for a presentation or talk?”

And that’s because I have great news for you: You’re likely good to go to find exactly what you need right now (and/or can add more awesome material in a really short space of time).

Not sure that’s true? Consider this:

As of this very second, your head is chock full of stories you have accumulated for as long as you’ve been on this mortal coil – from work, rest and play. And, with even a modicum of curiousity and a handy-dandy notebook, you can readily accumulate more great stuff every day (click here for an instant example).

In fact, you are awash with great storytelling material.

But…

…The bigger questions you need to ask when selecting stories for a speech are:

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