Saturday, November 1, 2008

Developing Your Stories

I just picked up a great book that every speaker should digest: The Story Factor by Annette Simmons.

Here is a strategy from Annette on how to develop two of your six important stories:

Developing “Who Am I /Why I’m here” Stories:

Step One: What personal qualities make you a trustworthy person? Are you compassionate, smart, courageous, honest, etc?

Step Two: Since you can hardly walk into a room and expect people to believe “I am a trustworthy person”, choose one of these qualities and develop a three-minute story that delivers evidence of that quality:

A time in your life when this quality was tested.
A person/event in your life that taught you the importance of this quality.
A time when you failed your own standards and decided to never let it happen again.
A movie/story/event that exemplifies this quality for you.

Step Three: Find someone to listen to your story. Ask them to tell you what they like about the story and what this story tells them about you. Ask them to refrain from making suggestions or giving a critique. Tell it again to someone else.

Step Four: Tell your story the next time you give a presentation or try to influence someone…if it works, tell it again.

If you found that valuable, you will love her book!


Andrew said...


I couldn't agree more with you on the value of Annette Simmons' book. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, and recommend it wholeheartedly. I previously posted a book review of The Story Factor too.

Thanks to your reminder, I'm going to flip through it again.

Dr. Jim Anderson said...

Rhett: I agree. A key point to remember is that it's not so much the fact that you are telling a story, but rather the fact that you are telling YOUR story that can make a lasting impression on your audience.

- Dr. Jim Anderson
The Accidental Communicator Blog
"Learn How To Calm Your Fears, Wow Your Audience, And Get Your Point Across"