I’m starting a series this week on this Flash Briefing (and blog!) all around the theme of how Your Story Builds Community. I talk a lot about how your story can help you create community in general — but what does that really mean? How does it really work?
Every day this week, We will dive a little deeper into this.
No matter if you are a business with a tangible product, or a service-based personal brand, it’s important you find ways to share your story with your audience for this reason — it shows you are human. So often, marketing your business can feel sterile and cold, and your potential clients can be turned off by this.
You must find ways to share the heartbeat of your business and brand by showing the humans behind the machine.
In my own business, I use my social media channels to take my audience behind the curtain and show off different aspects of my life — I often will take the time to share bits of my story illustrate the passion for...
There’s a little-known side-effect to sharing your story that not a lot of people talk about — so let’s talk about it!
For a lot of people, the idea of having other people look at them, hear them, and observe them is truly unnerving. Think back to your school years, and the courage it took sometimes to raise your hand in class and answer a question. All of the other students in the classroom would turn and look at you while you spoke.
Or, if you ever had to get up in front of the classroom to make a presentation — the nerves you likely felt, by having so many people look at you, hear you, and witness you.
As we grow up, that stuff doesn’t necessarily go away — it just manifests into a whole different fear and feeling. I call it the Vulnerability Hangover.
Part of learning how to share your story is learning how to deal with the aftermath of feelings — feeling naked and exposed, feeling raw and tender. When you first get up...
So often in business, we get in the weeds of the day to day operations, we sometimes loose sight of what we are really doing — who it is we serve, who are we trying to help with our products, our services, our message.
It’s really important that you take some time to think about who it is you serve.
This is your storytelling prompt for the day — it’s a fantastic way for you to share a piece of your story with your audience.
Think about who you serve — write about your audience/ your clientele, your ideal clients. Who are they? Why do they matter to you?
I think there’s a big disconnect in businesses today between their audience and the people running the machine.
The best way I know how to help you solve that disconnect is to get you to #1 — think more deeply about the people you serve…. and #2— get you to share your story with them.
When you can clearly identify and connect with who it is you serve, it becomes so much...
I want you to imagine a Mountain-- picture in your head the landscape of this mountain, and imagine what it might look like if you were looking at this mountain from afar. You’d see the base, the peak, and the other side.
The mountain is an image I use in all of my storytelling classes to help people understand their own story, and how to craft their message in a powerful way.
This applies to all great storytelling — for businesses, for people, for analysis of politics — everything.
Here’s how this mountain relates to storytelling.
What makes up a great story is the element of transformation. When people tell stories without this ingredient, the stories fall flat and are very boring. Think of a movie script — can you imagine watching a movie without experiencing the buildup to the climax? It would be a disaster.
For my illustration today, I’m going to use a business as an example — because I think too many businesses overlook the...
I can’t help but think about the power of Story today, as we celebrate and honor the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Here was a man so passionate for civil rights, he rose above adversity and used his voice to openly share his story as a means to blaze the trail for all of his brothers and sisters.
It’s awe-inspiring to think about the journey of Martin Luther King, Jr and how powerful his legacy is to this day.
Can you imagine if he had let all the doubts in his head keep him quiet??
I hear some of the same things over and over from amazing women who tell me they are scared to share their story —
Things like, “What will other people think? What if they think I’m trying to be somebody special? What if my story falls flat, and it’s not exciting enough?"
Some of these same thoughts probably went through MLK's head at some point.... Can you imagine if Martin Luther King, Jr had let that fear get to him?
Now, I know...
The first step of storytelling is knowing your Audience.
Knowing who you are talking to will help inform you on the type of story you share, and the details you need to include.
So many people ask me, “How do I know what’s relevant— which parts of my story should I share?” — and the answer is tied up in “who are you talking to?” — What parts of your story would your audience be interested in? What is relevant to them?
Too many people share their story and quickly get off on a tangent of details that, honestly, nobody really needs to know! Going off the rails like this makes your story all about you. Remember, your story — and the whole reason you are sharing it — is to make it about your audience.
Knowing who you are talking to will inform you on the types of details you need to share. Asking yourself this simple question: “Does my audience need to know this; Is it relevant to them?"— will help you...
For most of my career, I’ve worked in the world of Visual Storytelling — as a video producer, writer, and creative director. I love using video to supplement the story and help tell it through moving, visual images.
There are all kinds of ways to incorporate Visual storytelling, including art, photos, sketches/illustrations, music, abstract collages, just to name a few. For some people, Journaling is hard — writing their words down on paper is not something that comes easily. I hear often from clients who struggle with the journal prompts I give — so an alternative is to seek a more visual route to tell your stories. So if you are in this same camp — I encourage you to seek visual options expressing your story. Often times, the words come much faster once the visual is in place.
This time of year — the beginning of a New Year — seems to be a popular time to make Vision Boards — and these are a fantastic...
There’s a fun little viral challenge making its way through social media at the moment called the 10 year challenge — where you post your profile picture from 10 years ago and compare it to the one of today. All over the internet, people are posting side by side pictures — some in which there are noticeably drastic changes in appearance, while others look relatively the same. Some people are asking the prolific question, “How well did you age?” This is a golden opportunity to sprinkle some storytelling to your audience by taking it a step further — and instead of focusing on how well you aged, focus on how much your story has changed. This is actually an exercise and story prompt I give a lot of my storytelling students — to look back 10 years ago and write about what their life looked like then, versus what your life likes like now. We often don’t even realize — or give ourselves credit for how much we’ve been able to do...
I want to ask you a question. When was the last time you dreamed big? I mean really big??
We are at the beginning of a brand new year so I imagine many of you have spent some time recently imagining and planning out your year — maybe you’ve set some big goals to accomplish this year, maybe you’ve even created a Vision board to help you bring those dreams to life. What I’m talking about today is BiGGER than what you can imagine for just this year.
I think it’s really important to push our imagination to the farthest limits it will go and really visualize the biggest dreams we can think.
Here is a journal exercise I want to give you today: Write down the biggest version of your dream you can imagine. If money, time, logistics, and knowledge were not a factor — how BIG would you like to dream? What would your life and business look like?
I want to encourage you to go crazy here. Write down the most ludicrous version you can dream up. I did this...
There's a storytelling technique I use often and I'm sharing it today on my Amazon Flash Briefing, What's Your Story.
This is really helpful when you feel uninspired, have writers block, or just simply have no idea what to say on your social media channels.
There’s a Christian study practice called Lectio Divina — and this storytelling technique is borrowed from it. Now don’t worry — this has nothing to do with religion — we are just taking a cue from the Lectio Divina principles and applying them to storytelling.
You start by taking a PHOTO and letting it spark a story lurking within you. Similar to Lectio Divinia — you do this in 4 parts.
The first is to simple Observe — study the photo and allow thoughts, feelings, emotions, ideas, creative sparks come to you.
The second is to Ask — what does is this picture saying to you? What stories are you hearing in your head?
The third step is to Think — how does is this really relevant?...