What is Your Story? And How Should You Tell It.

We all have a story. Each one is unique and dynamic and tells the world who we are, what we believe and why we do what we do. As a business professional, your story is extremely important, and not just from a credibility standpoint. Your story is what you relay to your clients, explaining why they should do business with you and not your competitor. Your clients need to hear, absorb and connect with your story and make it theirs.

Some Stories Others Have Told

Here are some examples of stories I’ve heard over the years from others in business. They all tell why someone got involved in their current profession, whether it was due to tragedy, passion or a sense of duty.

· One estate planning attorney tells how his parents ran a restaurant and his mother was unprepared when his father suddenly died. Neither of his parents had made any preparations for who would take over and what would happen with other financial holdings they had. He is passionate about helping families create documents with their future in mind.

· A financial professional spoke about how her parents divorced, and her mother almost lost the family home. Her father had always taken care of the finances, so her mother was entirely out of her element after the divorce. The result: She went into financial planning to help women like her mother succeed.

· A real estate agent took his passion for real estate investment and turned it into his profession. The result: He now helps other find the homes of their dreams and invest in other properties.

· A former nonprofit executive traveled the world helping those in need and wanted to continue her work after she left her job. The result: As an entrepreneur she started her own coffee company, exporting beans from Asia and Africa, and sending money back that helps improve the lives of farmers, widows and orphans. She still lives her passion to help others, while providing a quality cup of coffee to the public.

· A former teacher who loved helping her students untangle their family issues eventually became a marriage and family therapist. The result: She now works with youngsters and their parents and can offer more options than before.

How to Tell Your Story

Now that you have a better idea of others’ stories, here are some tips on how to tell yours.

• Frame your story. Your audience (customer) has to understand why you’re sharing this story.

• Understand your audience and what their wants and needs are. This will help frame the story.

• Tell it with feeling. Your audience needs to connect with your message on a visceral level.

• Keep it concise. It’s easy to go off on a tangent. To avoid this, make your story as brief as possible.

· Include some details.

• Listen to what others are saying. How are they presenting their stories? What tips can you pick up from them?

How you present your story matters. You don’t have to be a great writer to tell a good story. You, do, however, have to believe what you are telling your audience and say it with conviction. People want to know that they have a connection with you. Once you establish that connection it’s up to you to fin


Speak Your Mind