The MOST important question to ask before you tell your (or ANY!) story! BWSS #1 official!

 

There’s a question that you MUST ask before you work on telling your — or any — story, if you want not to waste your own (or other people’s) time. And I’m telling you what it is this week, on the official first episode of the Baby Walk Story Sessions! (the last one being a kind of warm-up intro).

And, starting this episode, in case you’re more of a reader than a listener, I’m also giving you the transcript.

This week, you’ll discover:

  • The essential question you must ask yourself
  • Why ‘because I want to inspire people’ is not a good enough reason to tell a story
  • Which dead animal I encountered while recording this

Find it all, by listening here:


I mention this blog in this episode:
The simple trick that saves you hours of time and gives you 10X the impact in your business, career or passion

Or reading below!

Any thoughts/feelings/surprising country sightings of your own? Let me know in the comments below!

Thanks so much for listening and/or reading. If you know someone who’s thinking of telling their story (or any story!), I’d love if you could share this with them using one of the round buttons below, or click here to share on Facebook

You rule!

xx (Yes Yes) Marsha

PS want even more tips and tricks on how to tell compelling stories and how to Be Unforgettable? Come and join the Yes Yes Family. I’ll even throw in my free guide for the Magic Bullet for powerful storytelling. Just pop your details in below — it’s free!


Transcript

You want to tell your story — or any story! Before you do anything, there is one question you have to ask yourself. Otherwise, you’re going to waste a lot of your own, and other people’s, time.

This is the Baby Walk Story Series, where I give you storytelling tips while I’m out walking with the baby (On the recording, this means I might be a bit out of breath, and that you’ll hear noises of cars and other things. It’s earthy!)

So, people have been saying to you, “Oh my gosh! You have to tell your story!”

When they find out what your history is, they say, “You should tell people this,”  — but you have no idea where to start.

There is an essential question you have to ask yourself before you even consider starting, whether you want to speak on stage, whether you want to write this in a memoir, or whether it’s in the form of haiku. You need to ask yourself this question, so that you don’t waste all of your time.

This is the question:

Why?

Why do you want to share your story?

Often people think, “Oh, yeah. I need to share my story,” and there can be a bunch of different reasons. And some of the obvious reasons are, “Because people have told me that I should.”

I think a good reason is, “Because I just got to get this out.”

I run a storytelling show, True Stories Toronto, in West Toronto, and whenever I’m working with people deciding which story they’re going to tell – because there’s no theme – I say, “Which one is bursting out of you?” Usually, that’s the best one to tell.

So maybe it’s bursting out of you and that’s the reason.

Often people tell me the reason is, “Because I want to inspire people.” That’s cool. You need to be more specific:

Who do you want to inspire?
Why do you want to inspire them?
What do you want to inspire them to do differently?

I’m watching a lot of Queer Eye at the moment, which if you haven’t watched it yet, it’s on Netflix. I resisted it for ages because I thought, “I’m not really that into reality TV shows.”

Oh my god, I’m now obsessed. My girlfriend laughs at me because we’ve sometimes said, “Oh, we should just play board games tonight or we should have an early night.” Instead, now I’m like, “HOW MANY EPISODES OF QUEER EYE CAN WE WATCH BEFORE BED?” Queer Eye is super inspiring and sometimes it’s inspiring in particular ways, like: Don’t make assumptions about people.

Mostly, it just makes me feel good. And that’s cool!

But… there is a lot of media in the world that does that.

If you can get more specific on who you want to inspire and why and what you want to inspire them to do, that’s going to really help you.

For a few different reasons:

One, it’s going to help you when it comes to editing. I’m going to talk about this in a later episode. But every single story we tell is edited. Every single one. Otherwise, our stories would read, “I walked into the room and there was a green chair and it had a red table next to it and the man was wearing a blue jumper and brown slacks.”

You’re not going to describe everything. So you have to edit any story, especially the stories of our lives because, hello, nobody has 20 years, 30 years, 50 years, even 3 months to listen to your story. So you have to edit.

So if you know WHO you’re directing the story at and WHAT you want them to take away from it, it will be easier to decide what stays and what goes.

Secondly, if you’re telling the story because you want people to hear it, then you want as many people to hear it as possible. That means you need to do some promoting of it. If you need to do promoting of it, knowing who it’s for and what you want them to do differently is going to be so much easier.

Because if you say, “This story is for everyone!” then people are going to respond, “Cool! Maybe it’s not for me.”

But if you say, “This story is specifically for women who are aged 41 years old and like to go for walks with their babies on their back and record podcasts while they’re doing that,” then I’m going to respond, “Oh my god! I have to listen to this story. It’s just for me!”

It’s the same basic principle for anything that you’re selling, as well as your story. I don’t even mean for money, I just mean selling people on the idea of taking the time to read or listen to or hire you to come and tell your story.

So the more specific you can be about who it’s for, the easier that’s going to be.

The third thing is when you know who it’s for and what you want them to do differently, that changes your drive.

This is this basic Simon Sinek thing. If you don’t know Simon Sinek, he did a whole great TED Talk — one of the top 10 most watched TED Talks — about how, if you really drill into why you’re doing what you’re doing, then everybody buys into it, from your employees to your potential clients or collaborators or volunteers or whatever.

So it helps you get really clear and it helps drive you. I feel like I experienced that just with teaching storytelling. Sometimes I’m say, “I’m going to change the world with storytelling.”

That’s cool Marsh. Go change the world.

But if I’m more specifically saying, “Oh, I want to affect these people in this way,” that makes my drive to do it stronger because I’m think, “Oh, I can see how that would happen.” Whereas “change the world” is pretty ubiquitous.

So before you even start telling your story, I want you to ask yourself:

Why?
Why do you want to tell your story?
What do you want people to do differently as a result of listening to your story?

Thank you so much for reading! I’m Marsha.

I’m just laughing because I’m thinking, “This is a fun experiment.” We will see how this goes and also trying to keep the baby awake at the same time. “Don’t go to sleep Bubba.” Just because it’s not her nap time yet.

Oh my god. There’s a dead frog on the ground. Oh my god. Sorry. I almost stepped on a dead frog. Can you tell I’m from the city?

Thank you so much for reading this weird transcript! If you want to share this, that will be amazing.

Any thoughts? Have you tried this? Let me know in the comments below! And if you’d like to share it, please use one of those round buttons, or click here to share on Facebook

You rule!

xxyyMarsh

PS Want my best client-wooing tip AND free weekly coaching via email on how to tell compelling stories? Join the Yes Yes Family! Just pop your details in below — it’s free!

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