Last month at a business meeting I hosted, after I got to introduce myself as host I asked the attendees to tell their story instead of “what you do”.
EVERYONE blew us away, I mean – everyone.
- The Mayor
- The person working in emergency services
- The charter school pro
- The financial services rep
- et al
Because connecting requires true human to human relation. Human to human relation requires story telling; your story.
It’s not about a pitch – leave that for the ball field.
Telling your story is what engages us.
Think about it: when’s the last time you were at some sort of event where you were representing your business and you weren’t looking forward to it?
It’s highly likely because you were prepared with the same tired response of “I do ________.” And you may have likely also asked other people, “What do you do?”
Here’s the deal: it’s a pretty conventional habit. And one we must break to build and rebuild human connectivity, aka community.
To switch and shift, start telling your story instead. Here are 3 ways to get you started:
- Think about the reason you’re doing what you do. Go back to the genesis of why you began – there’s usually a very powerful driving force. Yes, we all want to serve and help people – get specific on how you choose to help and serve is critical in telling your story. Focus on that.
- Once you have decided on that genesis story, practice it was a few honest trusted colleagues. Share it with them or record yourself (audio or video) to help you hear how you sound, how to keep the focus on the core (not the weeds we can all get into: unnecessary and distracting details).
- Then, use it in your conversations and connections. I guarantee people will be more interested and curious and want to stick around to talk with you more. (and do business with people they actually know something about!)
A story is much more compelling, human and relatable that a technical “I sell/do/work with______.”
Ditch the pitch. Focus on the Story.
Who you are is always going to be more than ‘what you do.’ Who you are changes the world, impacts our community and makes you someone everyone wants to connect with. Tell me your story. That’s what I want.
And that, my friends is the power of connectivity when you use story.
Excellent book to help you learn how to tell your story: Stories That Stick, Kindra Hall