To Connect with Your Audience, Share Personal Stories
Leaders often shy away from sharing personal stories in their talks and presentations, because they’re afraid of revealing their struggles or appearing unprofessional. But this is a missed opportunity to connect with your audience: Stories that expose our human flaws and vulnerabilities are often what inspire people. To unearth your inspiring stories, think through the nouns that are important to you — the people, places, and things that have shaped your life. Some of your experiences may be too personal to share, but you may uncover anecdotes that will become the basis of a great story. Write one-line summaries of your best anecdotes, and catalog them; you could sort them by situation, theme, mood, or moral. When you’re planning your next talk, look through your catalog of stories and consider who’s in your audience and what they care about. Choose a story that fits their values, goals, and interests, and that will send the message you want to convey.