How to Tell Your Story

It can be difficult to talk about yourself. But if you want people to know your story, you have to get great at telling it.

When I visited with Mel Robbins on her radio show about my (then) new book, Zany Zia’s Hats to Where, she kicked off the interview, by asking “What can people do to become better at the art of packaging themselves and telling their own stories?”

Mel had a new book coming out that summer, and although she talks on the radio every day, she wanted to know how to improve the way she told her story.

The truth is it’s easy to talk about other people, ideas and events. It can be difficult to talk about ourselves—or at least, it can be difficult to do so in a way that’s comfortable and effective. But if you want people to know your story—whether you’re pitching yourself as a writer, speaker, coach, or new book author—you have to get great at telling it.

Here are few tips that may help you tell your story more effectively.

1.    Know what you want to say. Before I got on the phone with Mel, I wrote down the key points I wanted to share about my new book.  What is your core message? What do you really want people to know about you?

2.    Write it down. Whatever it is that you want people to know about you, write it down.  Doing so will help you get clear about your message.

3.    Edit and simplify. Don’t try to tell people everything about you all at once. Share only what is relevant to the conversation.  Think about a book: You can’t cram the whole story into one chapter. This is just the introduction.

4.    Focus on the present. People zone out when you attempt to impress them with stats, degrees and a mile-long list of accomplishments.  Why? They don’t really care (much) about what you’ve done in the past; they want to know how you can help them right now. So the real question you need to answer is: How can I use my experience and expertise to improve my audience’s life?

5.    Be authentic. Don’t stretch the truth and don’t borrow facts from someone else’s life. This is your story. Tell it honestly and confidently.

If you want to get great at telling your story, remember to be clear, concise, relevant and real.

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