One Big Storytelling Mistake You’re Making and How to Fix it

Steve owns a financial planning service company, and he wants to improve his connection with current and potential clients. 

He says it this way “There are a thousand of us out there. I’m a penguin in a sea of penguins. I want to be the peacock.”

In other words, he wants to stand out.

So, I asked him to tell me the story of how he got started with his business.

Well, uh, I started off in high school really enjoying my business math class. Then ya know, I went to college. Got a finance degree. I went to work for a big box company.”

Put my time in. Didn’t love it but it paid the bills.”

Kept thinking I wanted to go off on my own but, ya know, wanted to wait for the right time, I’ve got a wife and kids ya know.  So I kept doing my thing.”

And then one day I woke up at 3:00 a.m. in a cold sweat and realized that if I didn’t step out on my own, I was never going to. So I got up, pulled open my laptop and laid out my plan to start the company.

“That’s pretty much it.”

Can you see how someone might walk away from him and say “Eh, he seems like a nice enough guy. Nothing all that special though.”  

So, what was Steve’s big mistake?

He didn’t tell a story.

He told me a list of life events. 

And while lists are super handy as a memory tool they’re boring to listen to.

Look, a good story is interesting and helps us remember information; research suggests that facts are up to 20xs more likely to be remembered if they’re part of a story.

How do we avoid making the mistake of listing when telling a story?

Start your story with action.

I had Steve start here;

I woke up at 3:00 a.m. in a cold sweat and realized that if I didn’t step out on my own, I was never going to.”

Boom.

That’s interesting.

You want to know more and Steve gets the opportunity to tell you more before he loses your attention.

Try it for yourself.

The next time you go to tell a story, with action.

 

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