As a speaker, are you more like Yoda or Luke?
Are you more Katniss or Haymitch?
Are you more Dumbledore or Harry Potter?
Why do I ask?
We’ve all heard the advice “Share your soul-stirring story.”
Many speaking experts tell you that the key to building a successful speaking business is your story.
You’re told by them that your audience wants to connect with you. They want to hear your story. They want to know you.
The Rebel Truth: No one cares about your story.
Double dose of rebel truth: Focusing on telling your story is preventing you from booking speaking opportunities.
Double Ouch. But why is that?
People Don’t Hire Speakers. They Hire Experts who Speak.
When you focus on sharing your story, you put yourself in the role of Luke Skywalker. Katniss, and Harry Potter.
You’re the hero!
Donald Miller, who is my storytelling hero, revealed in an episode of Perpetual Traffic that talking about your own hero’s journey of how you overcame great obstacles is actually getting in the way of your relationship with that audience.
Your story isn’t establishing your expertise.
According to Miller, when an audience is looking to you to solve a problem, they want to know two things about you:
- You’re Empathic: You understand their plight and feel for them.
- You’re an expert: You’ve got the a process
This means they don’t care if you’re were down on your luck and fought your way back to success. They don’t care if you climbed Mt.Everest. They don’t care that you built a million dollar business.
When you tell a story that is focused is on YOU and your accomplishment, the audience sees another hero.
Don’t get me wrong. The story where you are the hero will keep the audience entertained. They’ll chat with you afterwards and tell you how awesome you are. They may even want to do a selfie with you and get your autograph.
You’re a hero to them. They wish you well on your journey and then wonder who will come along to help them with their journey.
Where’s their Yoda? Because that’s what they are looking for to navigate their own journey.
Miller suggests that you position yourself as the guide.
The Key to Effective Storytelling is Be the Audience’s Guide
In every hero’s journey, a guide appears to show the hero the way on their journey.
Haymitch trained Katniss & Peta to survive the Hunger Games. Dumbledore mentored Harry Potter so he could defeat Voldemort. Yoda taught Luke the ways of the Force so he could defeat the Empire.
The audience is looking to you to solve a problem. They want to know that you have a process, a plan, a solution that helps them on their own quest.
The people who HIRE you to speak are looking to you to further their organization on a journey.
You are hired (and paid well for speaking) because you’re the guide not the hero.
Should You Stop Telling Your Story in Your Speech to Book More Speaking Gigs?
We’re human. We’re social beasts. And we love, love, love to listen to stories.
Good stories (yep, the good is critical here) help us pay attention and help us relate to one another. They motivate. They persuade. They capture our hearts. And they propel us to action.
There’s even scientific proof to suggest that when you want to be remembered by an audience, you should start with a story.
But, if you don’t shape your story so you’re positioned as the guide, it can and will fail you. That’s why I’m devoted to helping you craft your Signature Talk that include signature stories that you’re excited to tell and you’re audience enjoys listening too.
When I work with a client as their speaking Yoda, I’m looking for the story turnaround.
The Story Turn Around Makes Your Story Valuable
In the simplest terms, the story turn around positions you as the GUIDE the audience is seeking.
When I’m working to find the story turn around for a client, I’m looking at the process that they went through to overcome a struggle. The steps they took. What worked and what didn’t work for them. What’s the moral of the story?
That process that I help my client’s uncover is the reason they get book and paid as speakers.
Their story itself is just the vehicle for showing the audience the process. The audience leaves your speech with an ACTIONABLE plan to overcome their problem.
Effective storytelling that gets you booked to speak is not about YOUR story. It’s about the process that you used to overcome the struggle so that you can light the way for others.
Ready to discover your story turn around so that you can make a bigger difference to your audience and get booked to speak? Apply for a complimentary Speak for Impact Strategy Session and we can develop a plan for using your story to book more paid speaking gigs!