I don’t usually focus on the negative.
But here’s the thing, I hear a lot of attempts at storytelling that simply don’t work. You know what it’s like, a person starts talking and at first it’s kind of interesting but pretty quickly you notice your mind wandering and you’re quietly planning your exit.
You look at your watch and say, “oh my goodness; is that the time already?” Or you suddenly invent the person you absolutely have to speak to. Or you excuse yourself with some other lame excuse – anything to get away.
And, if it’s on line, you don’t hesitate, you just stop the video, exit the screen, continue surfing, or go back to social media. If it’s in Facebook, you check your groups, or your page ‘likes’, whatever, just get the hell away from this person who, in truth (and I know this sounds harsh…) doesn’t deserve your attention.
You see, people are busy and they have a lot of distractions. They don’t have time to listen to stuff that doesn’t give them value. They don’t have time to read stuff that doesn’t resonate. (And by the way, thank you SOO Much for still being here and reading this, I seriously value every second that you so generously give this your attention!)
So, here we go. I want to help you avoid losing heart and losing clients by doing these dreaded things – the top 3 storytelling mistakes that dull your message and destroy your prospects –
1. Going on and on and on and on……
Sounds ridiculous by you’d be amazed by how many people don’t know when to just stop. There is such value in brevity. Tell your story but make it simple, focused and clear. Say what you have to say and then SHUT UP. The story has an end so don’t drag it out. Believe me, the people who are dragging it out, they mostly just want to hear their own voice, they’re not so interested in connecting and actually listening to what other people think or how they respond, which, by the way, is the whole point of telling stories in the first place!
2. Having no power and no point……
Yeah, I know this is a bit of a dig at Powerpoint (I always call it power pointless, no power and no point!!!) but I mean this in relation to story. If you don’t have a clear intention, a clear motive for telling the story, THERE’S NO POINT. You need to figure out why you’re trying to tell it in the first place. It’s not supposed to serve you; to amuse you or be therapeutic for YOU.
Why are you telling the story? What do you want to create? Who do you want to serve? Why does it matter? Once you can answer those questions, you’ll get the power (I got the power….do.…Do, Do…Do…sorry can’t say that without starting to dance!!!).
And last but not least…
3. Being a little too much in love……
You may be saying, is there such a thing? Well, being a little too much in love with yourself, is a major turn off. Your Story can’t just be all about you. I mean, of course the story is about you, but it has to have relevance and be appropriate for the person listening; you need to make it sound like it’s all about them.
People only really want to hear the story that makes sense for them, that shares who you are in a way that is relevant; that is humble, open-hearted and truly serving them. Really, it’s all your intention. Share who you are and who you are not. Allow reality to come through; no one wants a rose-tinted version of life, be real.
So that’s it. It’s time to get you started, to think about the stories you are telling and how effective they are. I’d love to hear what you think, what’s your biggest challenge in telling stories?
Share it here.