TIPS FOR TELLING ONE OF YOUR STORIES
First of all, telling our stories makes a difference. It is a vulnerable, brave and worthy gift. We will “storytell” our way to a better future long before we argue our way to one.
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Not only will these help the story have more impact for listeners, but for you too!
- Remember it’s a story, not an essay. People should experience what you experienced, not learn what you teach them. Keep it narrative. Sum up your takeaways when appropriate, but that should be a quick clean wrap summary of what people already caught.
- Compelling stories have a clear Beginning, Middle, End.
- Know your opening and last line. Have a strong clear beginning and ending. After your ending, thank your listeners.
- Play with the details. Some matter, some don’t. Practice telling your story out loud to a voice recorder on your phone or a to friend as a way to play with the details and see how they work and help your story, and to realize some are in the way.
- Be yourself. You are not proving, selling or preaching anything. Just sharing your story.
- Know your story well enough that you can have fun telling it, and aren’t using notes. If it is too complex to remember with some practice, it’s too complex.
What Story Should I Tell?
- Stories have stakes. Why did this moment matter for you? What changed for you? That said, funny and light stories are welcome alongside emotionally intense ones.
- Tell stories from your scars, not your wounds. Talking through a currently tough situation with appropriate trusted people is critical, but not everyone gets to hear that. Trust that you will have a story you may choose to share someday, somewhere. But don’t rush it.
- Ask permission. If you are telling a story that involves someone who is among those listening, or personally known by them, make sure to get their ok first.
Prompt for telling your story on November 12:
“People think…but really, it is like this… Let me tell you a story.”