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The Story On Storytelling

Last time, we discussed the single biggest barrier to your success – the fear of failure. We challenged you to cultivate the fear of not trying so you overcome the fear of failure.
Don't forget to keep visualizing your future!

Today, we want to discuss storytelling – how to tell the right story right. To get the most benefit from this, you really should listen to today’s show. It’s really easy to do. Just click on the “triangle” above.

If you don’t want to do that, you can read it here. If you’re a history buff, we highly recommend the site where we got this story: Boston 1775.

Longfellow’s Dilemma
Do you remember the famous poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow that starts like this:

Listen my children, and you shall hear,
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere.

Of course, the purpose of Revere’s ride was to warn the people of the colonies that the British were coming.

But did you know that Longfellow faced a dilemma after he wrote this poem.  You see, there was a second rider that night. A gentleman by the name of William Dawes. And the Dawes family didn’t take kindly to Longfellow’s failure to mention their ancestor.

So, why did Longfellow single out Revere? We need some background before we can answer that question.

Some time before Longfellow wrote his poem, Revere was asked to record the events of that fateful evening. And Revere delivered exactly what was expected – a riveting account about the start of the American Revolution that historians have used ever since.

So why did Longfellow single out Revere in his famous poem?

Because Paul Revere told a great story!

The two parts to telling the right story right

Stories advance your message by capturing your audience.  So, it follows, good storytelling helps advance your career. 

Telling stories well, though, isn’t always easy.  So here’s the story on storytelling.

Get the right story

  • Your story must relate to your audience and your topic.Your story should naturally lead to or from your topic.
  • Your story should be proportional to your presentation; you can’t spend half of your  presentation telling a story.
  • Your story must ring true, but should describe a situation that is out-of-the-ordinary.
  • Your story should present a problem faced by the main character.
  • Your story should have a happy ending … or at least be uplifting to your audience.

Get the story right

  • Pretend you’re telling your story to your best friend.
  • Tell your story from one character’s point-of-view.
  • Develop the story fully.  You want to paint a picture in the mind of your audience. That’s worth a thousand words, right?
  • Vary your pace with the activity of the story.  Describe a flurry with rapidity and so on. This helps your audience feel the story.
  • Use moments of silence for emphasis.
  • Don’t rush through the punch line.
  • It is okay to embellish, but you should not lie.

Stories connect you with your audience by capturing their attention. Choose the right story and tell it right and you’ll be a hit every time!

Our quote today is by the author, Philip Pullman.

“’Thou shalt not’ is soon forgotten, but ‘Once upon a time’ lasts forever.”

That’s the story on storytelling. Tell the right story right and you’ll live happily ever after.

Next time, we’ll look at the role of role playing.

Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

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One Response to The Story On Storytelling

  1. [...] the famous poet and master storyteller, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was part of his [...]

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