The Secret To Knowing When & How To Share Your Story — And What Parts To Share…

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I went to a conference where one of the speakers shared an inspirational speech, basically telling the story of his life. 

The speech was pretty good. 

Towards the end of his talk, some event staff begin setting up microphone stands in the aisles of the crowd. The speaker was going to do a live Q&A after his talk. 

People lined up, 10-deep behind each mic. 

The second person to ask a question was a petite woman who looked to be in her fifties or sixties. 

This woman committed the common faux pas of telling “a little bit of her background story” (it’s never “a little bit”) to preface the question. As is common practice when this occurs, the story was too detailed and waaaaay too long. 

The woman had a story of sickness and abuse and disease and all kinds of other calamities that had come her way. 

If there was a competition for “worst life story,” she would have won the trophy.

The only reason the woman stopped talking was because the speaker finally cut her off after about five minutes of her talking (that’s a long time to talk about yourself when you’re asking a question) and answered an assumed question that the woman had not even gotten around to asking. 

I don’t think this woman even had a question to ask — she seemed to just want to share her wounds with an audience. 

Two days later, another speaker was doing live business “interventions” with random audience members. 

While he was helping one particular person, and all audience attention was on that interaction, that same long-story woman stood up, unprompted. She obviously had more stories to share.

The speaker did not call on her, but she remained standing. She then proceeded to walk from her seat to the front of the room just to get the speaker’s attention. 

The speaker did not acknowledge her. I think one of the security guards told her to sit her ass down. 

She didn’t get a chance to speak again. Thank God. 

***

Some people like to call themselves “open books.” 

They share everything about themselves, good and bad. It’s not even help that they want — they just seem to revel in the attention that results from bearing their wounds to the world. 

The problem: this “exposure” only makes people uncomfortable, and it helps no one. 

The good stuff about people, you can find in any healthy social media feed. 

With the bad stuff, there are some people who give… a little bit too much. They don’t understand nuance when it comes to sharing that bad stuff.

For the most part, we want to know about your challenges only after you’ve resolved your issues and figured things out. 

The people who master this become our inspirational influencers and motivational speakers: People who have been through shit, found their way to the other side, and can help others either avoid the shit, or get past the shit faster. 

The idea is to share the scars: the signs that you’ve been through trial and tribulation that has now been resolved — rather than the wounds: a challenge that has yet to have reached a conclusion. 

The idea is to share the scars: the signs that you’ve been through trial and tribulation that has now been resolved — rather than the wounds: a challenge that has yet to have reached a conclusion.  Click To Tweet

Scars are about redemption; I-overcame-this stories. 

Wounds are a call for sympathy, for an audience, a chance to vent and share. 

We all need someone to share our problems with sometimes. 

That person is not everyone and the time is not all the time

Know your audience. Tell them the parts that they need to hear (ie, what’s in it for them), not the parts that you want to share. 

Know your audience. Tell them the parts that they need to hear (ie, what’s in it for them), not the parts that you want to share.  Click To Tweet

They’re not always the same. 

When have you (or someone you knew/observed) shared too much of a wound rather than sharing a scar? Have you ever known someone who liked to tell everyone about all their shit just to soak in the attention? Reply and let me know — I read all responses. 

Take the following MasterClasses around crafting your message and sharing your story —

#1211: The Difference Between Vision And Delusion: The End Of The Story

#1186: No One Wants To Hear Your Story — Until

#684: How To Write A New Story, Starting Today

#234: Careful of Passing Judgement- You Don’t Always Know The Whole Story

#822: Change Your Story, Change Your Results

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