I've been digging around again in the land of storytelling for a new client I have with KSi. Our goal together was to create better, more authentic storytellers in their company, which will then also translate to a better communicating of the brand. Think of JetBlue, Google, Amazon, Starbucks---they are all brands with a strong story and we buy into those stories---daily! We buy into how those stories make us feel. We become part of an brand event they create for us---like a Facebook event but bigger and more subtle. Thats what a good brand story is. And I help to train better brand storytellers.
That session inspired me.
So I decided to start doing my own storytelling again. I used to tell stories in NYC, even winning a MOTH Story Slam. But I hadn't performed a story on a stage in years. But last week, I went to a storytelling event in Chicago---Story Club. I hadn't planned on telling a story. I wasn't really prepared, but there were a few spots open and they kept asking for volunteers. I kept saying "no" to myself. I wasn't ready. But then I asked myself: What was I waiting for? I wanted to tell a story and as unprepared as I was, the fact was I wanted to tell a story. So I dug around in my mental files for a story.
I had just told a story at the recent corporate training about jumping off a train in Prague, but how I used it there was more anecdotal. So how could I flesh out a full story, moments before I would tell it here? I sat at the bar, nursing my oversized beer (possible problem??) and figured it out. Then I went up to the host and asked if I could tell my story.
I ended up winning the audience vote that night---mostly because I jumped.
We all have stories inside us. Sometimes we're not ready to tell them. Sometimes we haven't even identified them yet. But they always have value. They define us. Our stories make us who we are. And we all have one. It just depends on how willing we are to jump.
How willing are you to tell your story when the opportunity comes?