We all know that sharing our journeys can be a powerful way to inspire others, but it’s not always easy to know how to get started. You may feel like your journey isn’t interesting enough, or that you don’t have the time or energy to share it. You may also know what you want to say but don’t have the confidence to put yourself out there.
As a former wallflower in the world of business networking, I get you. It was scary for me in the beginning until I discovered the power of story and how it accelerates the connection between you, your audience, and your ideal clients who can benefit the most.
Your journey is made up of multiple stories so I’m going to start by taking you through the story creation process first.
I learned this process from my speaking coach back in 2007 when I was preparing for the Toastmasters International Speech Competition. Going through this process taught me SO much about the power of story, how to frame it, and most importantly how to share it with others.
Start By Thinking About One Event
When you think about your journey, start with one story – an event that stands out to you. The memory could spark laughter, be inspiring, or even a challenge you overcame. I call it your ‘there to here’ story and it’s the same framework I used to create my TEDx talk. I also used this for the keynotes that I did since there multiple stories in each one.
Sometimes stories come out of the least likely places. One of my favorites was sharing the story of how I met Bob Burg via Twitter. It’s the ‘if you don’t ask the answer is always no’ story. The result was coming out of my wallflower shell and resulted in sharing the stage with Bob a year later. He later endorsed my second book which I am forever grateful for.
Sharing this story during keynotes and company training inspired other wallflowers to step outside of their comfort zone. How do I know this? Through the conversations I had with attendees at the events and the emails they sent me telling their stories. #POWERFUL TIP: Keep a story file. My speaking coach taught me this to make sure I didn’t forget a good story example. In 2007 I used a word document but now I use the notes app on my cellphone and Evernote on my computer.
Don’t Worry About How It’s Going to Sound
Write about what you want to share – don’t worry about how it’s going to sound. This is where the doubt tends to creep in. If you’re introverted that can make it even harder. This is why you start with a story file and think back through memories.
An easy one is to think through why you started your business in the first place. Or if you haven’t quite made that leap then what’s going on now to make you want to make the move. When you share your story, don’t worry about how it’s going to sound. Just start writing and see where the words take you.
You can always go back and revise it later, but getting started is the hardest part. The next step is to write down a few thoughts on paper (in a journal), in a word document, or in my favorite platform EVERNOTE.
You can also record with an app on your phone and have it transcribed through HappyScribe or another online platform for next to nothing! This is the process I used to write a 221-page biz book and went from nothing on paper to fully published in 35 days!
Use a ‘There to Here’ Framework
When you share the story in a way that is interesting and easy to follow, it will keep readers/listeners engaged. You do this by making sure to focus on the main points. It’s easy to get caught up in the tiny details that we remember – but your audience may get lost in them. You should have the set-up, three to five main points. This will help you stay on track, and make sure that your story is clear and concise.
It’s also important to have a strong ending, so that your audience will remember what you said. I always say there are lessons to be learned in every story.
When you’re done, ask yourself how the experience has changed you, and what you learned from it. This is a great way to wrap up your story, and give your audience something to think about.
TIP: A clear ending with one main call to action will help your audience remember the entire story. If you want another set of eyes before you share your story ask a friend or business associate for feedback before publishing it publicly so you can make any necessary edits
5 Ways to Share Your Story
One story can be shared in multiple ways – repurposing makes sharing your story easy! Start by picking an outlet that feels comfortable to you. This also determines the length of your story.
- Blog, podcast (yours or someone else’s)
- Facebook post, live or Instagram story
- Interview with a local media outlet
- On the about section of your website
- In a conversion event – webinar, workshop, etc.
When it comes to sharing your journey, the most important thing is to just start. Don’t worry about how it’s going to sound, or if it’s interesting enough. Just write down your thoughts and see where they take you. You can always go back and revise them later. Sharing your journey can be a powerful way to inspire others, so don’t hesitate to get started today!
If you’re like me and you struggle to write, be sure to check out my favorite AI tool. It’s like having a professional writer in your back pocket and I use it for everything including blogs, video scripts, social posts, and more! Check it out here.