I’ll be the first to admit that telling my story can end up sounding like a broken record. I find myself repeating the same sentence to people twice—or more, because I’m not sure of what to say or how to get from Point A to Point B.
Speaking is so much harder than writing for me, where I can take all the time in the world to choose my words carefully and perfect their impact through rewrites. Or in other words, practice. But as my daughter says, not just practice. Perfect practice. (You have to know what you’re doing, so you’re not practicing it wrong. Unlearning something is harder than learning the correct way from the beginning. And it saves you a lot of time.)
So let me give you the formula so you can get started practicing your story the right way the first time. It you’re a writer then it’s really nothing you haven’t heard before. In fact, the formula for telling a story follows the same rules you would follow when writing a story.
•What’s the conflict?
•Who’s the hero?
•Where is the suspense?
•How will the conflict resolve?
•What’s the point?
•Why does it matter to me?
Just think of how people would hang on your every word if you introduced your story in this format instead of stuttering your way through, or as in my case, repeating whole sentences. If it doesn’t look as though you have a point to make because you’ve been droning on for 20 minutes with no point in sight, then you’ve lost your listener.
And that could be bad.
Perhaps you are on a job interview and you’re asked to describe a past experience and how you handled it. If you know your formula for telling a good story, you just might get that job. Especially if you can convey that all seemed lost before you saved the day.
Regardless of who you are speaking with, people want to know how your life experiences have shaped you. They want to know if they can relate to you and are looking for areas to try to connect. Plus, you never know where telling your story can help another person deal with something similar going on in their life. Not getting your story out well could mean a lost opportunity to help another person.
Holding back your story could also mean hindering healing in your own life.
The Unlocked Secret: Telling your story helps you make sense of your life — why certain events happened the way they did. You can examine what has happened to and through you. It will help you make sense of who you are and can lead to a greater confidence and understanding of self.
So take the time to learn your story. Be ready to share for when someone asks you, “So what’s your story?”
Question: Can you tell your story in three sentences or less? Practice it, and feel free to share. I really want to hear it. Really I do.
Amazing Opportunity: Women of Faith holds a writing contest every year. They want to know your story. The winner gets a publishing contract. Check it out here.
And thank you for your TWEETS and Shares!