It was a warm but very dark night.
We walked away from the bonfire, through the forest… slowly climbing the mountain. We were a big group, maybe 30 children with at least one parent each. The children held the torches; we could breathe in their excitement, it was such an adventure.
Finally the climb leveled as we reached the top of the hill. There was large clearing and stones set in a circle. They knew it was time for a story; it was like this every year, already a tradition.
We said to them; sit down, be quiet, torches off. There was some shuffling and sniffling, someone was being soothed after falling over, water was shared around.
And I began.
“It was a long, long time ago, in a land far away. There was a little boy, the only child of his mother. They lived in a small cottage on an Island. And on this particular day…that little boy was about to have an amazing adventure!”
For the next 20 minutes, in complete darkness, I told the story.
And what amazed me (as it does every time!) was that the parents were as quiet and thoughtful as the children. They loved the story just as much.
What amazes me is that so many people don’t realize that this is the key to great speaking and business success too!
Whenever you need to really have impact on any audience, whether it’s a couple of people or a couple of hundred people, when you tell a story, you have enormous influence.
It doesn’t have to be a long and winding fairy tale. It can be something really simple.
I don’t remember who said it…that once you describe an experience with imagery and emotion, it becomes a story. It’s as simple as that.
Take an experience that you’ve had that made an impression (positive or negative, it doesn’t matter!) and describe it. Make it specific, use imagery so we can see what happened. Describe it so we know how it moved you. It’s a story.
And not only will people want to hear it; it will inspire and influence them.
The truth is that everyone is talking about the power of story. Not some many people talk about how to discover you own authentic stories and craft them so that they have the effect of giving you enormous influence while you impact people’s lives.
That’s why you’re here. And I’m happy you are.
What’s your biggest challenge in telling your story? Leave a comment below and I’ll respond to them all!