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Create relationships that take off

I’m not sure what was in the air that day. But the first time I got engaged was while boarding a flight from Dublin to Barcelona with my family for a sun and sea holiday in Spain.

And even though I was just a 6-year-old and my bride to be Niamh was older than me, by 4 days, I don’t remember us thinking about whether we might be a tad young to tie the knot. But I do have a vague recollection of a discussion about how the fact we were first cousins might mean we’d need to get approval for our matrimonial plans from the Pope or a very high-ranking Cardinal, at least!

However, we clearly pushed such issues to one side as with great joy and excitement we went up and down the aisles of our plane to invite every single passenger to come to our big day. And judging by their smiles, they seemed every bit as happy about our plans as we were.

But sadly, the course of our true love didn’t run smoothly from there. Barely thirty minutes into the flight our relationship hit serious turbulence when we had an argy-bargy about the fairness of who got what from a packet of Tayto crisps. Apparently, I wasn’t anywhere near as good about sharing as I could have been!

And believing this was a bad omen for things that might come, my cousin Niamh announced “That’s it. I’m sorry. Our engagement is off.”

Oh no, our wedding of the year was toast.

And since I seemed to be in more of an “Ah well. Easy come, easy go” frame of mind about our pre-wedding divorce, I was sent to un-invite everyone we had invited minutes earlier – which caused a cascade of giggles and the woman sitting beside my mother to laugh so hard her false teeth fell out!

Perhaps it won’t surprise you to learn that this story has been repeated MANY times at family events and reunions over the years. And if I were a betting man, I’m sure there are some stories told in your families time and again. And have you ever wondered why these stories are more memorable than others?

Truth is there are a few lessons you can take from all such stories that can help you to boost the impact of your communications – helping you to more easily focus audience attention on specific messages you’d like them to think about. e.g. In this case “Impulse decisions may not last!”

Specifically. Can you say yes to each of the following questions?

  • Is it personally relatable?
  • Will it make your audience wonder ‘what’s going to happen next’?
  • Is there a lesson worth thinking about and learning from within it?

If you can, great. You may have the making of a powerful and even viral story.

Want to learn how you can craft powerful stories that inspire?

To learn how I can help you to find, hone and polish stories that are sure to help you better inspire audiences you’d like to influence, contact me at eobrien@thersc.ie

Photo credit: Bernal Saborio